Chicago Okinawa Kenjinkai Celebrates Its Successful Performances at New Year’s Gathering
• The party started with opening dance of “Kajyadefu”
with music played by sanshin (three string instrument) group.
• This year, Linda Asato was elected as Chicago Okinawa Kenjinkai’s President, and former President Paula Schmidling, who had devoted herself to serve the Kenjinkai for eight years, received a big applause. Other new officers were also introduced.
• Okinawa’s civilian ambassador Ikuko Nichols spoke about
activities of the Kenjinkai. She said that they had three significant
events last year and thanked the officers, members, and volunteers for
their dedications to those successful events.
• The second event was annual Japan Day. Okinawa was chosen as a main theme of the festival. Through the help of Mitani of JCCC, a significant amount of donation came from late the Al Kabeshita, then Chairman of the Ark Technologies, so that the Kenjinkai could invite a professional instructor Yasuhide Uezu from Okinawa to refine their performances. The Okinawa show at Japan Festival was very successful with an audience of over 1,500.
• The third event was hosting “Worldwide Uchinanchu Day”. Okinawa government chose Chicago as one of cities to receive special instructions from professional performers. After several month of practice with instructions from professionals, the members of the Keinjinkai’s performances were improved more than they had expected. They could share Okinwan’s arts and culture with more than 1,000 people at the show.
• Nichols expressed deep gratitude for Consul General Naoki Ito, who attended all the three events and participated in Kachasi dance with smile. She also thanked Mitani of JCCC, Yoshiike of CJC, Okinawa Kenjinkai of other states, and the Chicago Shimpo, whose article carried Okinawan culture not only to the Japanese community but also to the world.
2019 Okinawa Kenjinkai New Year's Party
Densa bushi and Mensore performed by Sanshin group and Eisa
Karate demonstration by Okinawa Shorin-Ryu Karate
Many Attendees get together and dance Kachashi at the end of Chicago Okinawa Kenjinkai's New Year Party.