Bringing Okinawa Home: Cultural Lecture & Performance
The Okinawa Association of America (OAA) in Gardena will celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with a cultural lecture and traditional music performance on Saturday, May 19, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Titled "Bringing Okinawa Home," the goal of this event is to share and promote different facets of Okinawan culture. On a deeper level, it is to encourage Okinawan descendants to embrace cultural practices in their daily lives. This session will explore customs, traditional music, and the endangered Ryukyuan languages.
Eric Wada and Norman Kaneshiro are Hawaii-born, third-generation Okinawans (sansei) and have studied extensively in Okinawa. They organize yearly lectures, classes, performances, and Okinawa study tours through their Hawaii-based non-profit organization, Ukwanshin Kabudan. In 2015, they founded the annual LooChoo (Ryukyu) Identity Summit, a 3-day conference focusing on language revitalization and sustaining cultural heritage. They will also be featured in an upcoming documentary about the preservation of Ryukyuan languages.
Wada's lecture will highlight annual practices that Okinawans traditionally follow, including the ancestor-centered Shiimii and Obon. His presentation will include explanations of each tradition, the Lunar calendar dates of observation, and ways to normalize them.
Kaneshiro's performance will be a mix of traditional Ryukyuan songs and storytelling. Titled "Mimi-gusui: Life Sustenance Through the Ears," the performance will emphasize Okinawan values and language, and how our ancestors used music to teach these things to the following generations. Kaneshiro will be playing the sanshin, a traditional 3-stringed lute that is recognized for its snakeskin covering and rustic sound.
Both presentations will be in English. The songs will be in the native Okinawan language, but explanations and/or subtitles will be provided.
Registration is required by May 18 due to limited seating and parking (walk-ins are not guaranteed a seat). To encourage more families to attend, the event is free for children (ages 10 and under) and $5 for middle/high school students (I.D. required at event check-in). The adult fee is $7 for OAA members and $12 for the general public. Register online (oaamensore.org/tickets.htm) or through the OAA office (weekdays, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-532-1929).
The OAA is located at 16500 South Western Avenue in Gardena (the event will take place in the Yamauchi Building). The OAA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is dedicated to preserving and promoting Okinawan culture. They host numerous events throughout the year including cultural lectures, performances, social gatherings, and senior-focused activities.
Okinawa Association of America (OAA) (View)
16500 South Western Avenue
Gardena, CA 90247
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|