Worldwide Uchinanchu Day in Chicago Showcasing Okinawans’ Arts and Spirit
• “Worldwide Uchinanchu Day in Chicago” took place on
November 3 at Glenview Park Center and dynamic Okinawa music, dance, and
martial arts were showcased.
• According to M.C. Linda Asato, Chicago was one of the
cities selected to receive special instructions from professional performers
such as Daichi Hirata and Yasuhide Uezu. So the members of the Chicago
Okinawa Kenjinkai and their family and friends got together to practice
performances for several months. Asato said that the result exceeded their
• Special guests were Deputy General Takako Yamashiro, who represented Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki; Consul General Naoki Ito; Manabu Yoshiike, Chairman of the Chicago Japanese Club; Tetsuro Mitani, Executive Director of JCCC; Katsu Shimabukuro, Principal of Futabakai Saturday School, and others.
• According to Yamashiro, Uchinanchu Day celebration was held at 12 places outside of Japan last year. She mentioned about Okinawa showcase in Japan festival, which was held last June in Arlington Heights, and that the success was made possible by Uchinanchu spirit which was nurtured in the Chicago Okinawa Kenjinkai’s 50 years of history.
• The Worldwide Uchinanchu Day started with celebrative
dance of Kajyadefu followed by karate kata performance, Eisa Drumming
and song of “Umi no koe.”
• Yasuhide Uezu performed “Kyotaro Uchijyo” followed
by “Kyotaro Shishimai (lion dance).”