The Okinawa Association of America (OAA)’s Annual Picnic has been a tradition for our members since its first inception in the 1930′s. In addition to delicious bento, cultural performances, high school scholarship awards, raffle drawings, and family games, we host the only Okinawa-style bon odori in Los Angeles! We invite all audience members — regardless of age and experience — to dance with us!
To help you prepare, we’ve produced some practice videos for the songs that will be danced at the Picnic. All of the songs are very repetitive and will be led by experienced dancers in the inner circle, so just follow along and have fun!
Posted in Bon Dance, Events, Picnic & Scholarship Awards, Traditional Dance, Traditional Music, Videos
Tagged bon-odori, oaa, odori, okinawa, okinawa association of america, okinawan, performing arts, picnic, ryukyu, ryukyuan, sanshin, uchina, uchinanchu, youtube
On Sunday, May 5th, the Okinawa Association of America (OAA) will be presenting their 18th biennial Utayabira Wuduyabira concert at the James R. Armstrong Theatre (Torrance, California). Translated as “let’s sing, let’s dance” in Uchinaaguchi (the Okinawan language), this showcase of traditional performing arts will feature local musicians (sanshin, koto, taiko) and dancers coming together to celebrate and share the Okinawan culture for audiences of all generations and backgrounds.
Utayabira Wuduyabira is organized by the OAA’s Geinobu (Performing Arts Committee). The Geinobu was formed in 1987 and is currently comprised of over twenty Okinawan dance, sanshin, koto, and taiko schools. Teachers and students from each school participate in the Utayabira Wuduyabira concerts, bringing a blend of koten ongaku (traditional music), buyo (traditional dance), minyo (folk music), and eisa (festival drums).
The Utayabira Wuduyabira concert will be hosted by the James R. Armstrong Theatre (3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance, 90503) on Sunday, May 5th, 2:00 PM. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by contacting the OAA at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-532-1929. Please make checks payable to OAA – Geinobu.
Please watch these excerpts from our 2009 Utayabira Wuduyabira (filmed and edited by Hisashi Seragaki):
Please join and share our Facebook event page!
Posted in Events, Kenjinkai, Performances, Performing Arts Committee (Geino-bu), Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko, Traditional Dance, Traditional Music, Utayabira Wuduyabira, Videos
Tagged geino-bu, geinobu, ishihara minyo, james armstrong theatre, oaa, odori, okinawa, okinawa association of america, okinawan, performing arts, ryukyu, ryukyuan, ryukyukoku matsuri daiko, sanshin, shima minyo, Tamagusukuryu Kansen-Kai, traditional music and dance, uchina, uchinaaguchi, uchinanchu, utayabira wuduyabira, youtube
by Joseph Kamiya, OAA volunteer/videographer
Now that summer is officially gone, folks here at the Okinawa Association of America are winding down from Obon Festivals, Nisei Week, and other summer activities. The OAA was once again honored to represent Uchinaanchu in Los Angeles with their participation in the Nisei Week Grand Parade, having over 50 volunteers and Geino-bu (Performing Arts Commitee) dancers trekking across Little Tokyo! We were also proud to have members of affiliated groups such as Ishihara Minyo, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko, Shima Minyo, and Tamagusukuryu Kansen-Kai representing Okinawa in the Tanabata Festival, Taiko Gathering, and Nisei Week’s Closing Ceremony Ondo!
For those who weren’t able to attend this year’s Nisei Week festivities (or for those who want to re-live the experience), we’ve compiled a top-5 list of the best Nisei Week videos that we could find on YouTube. If you have a video that didn’t make the list, please drop the link in the “comments” section at the bottom of this page (or on our Facebook page)!
Posted in Bon Dance, Editorials, Events, Little Tokyo, Nisei Week, Performances, Performing Arts Committee (Geino-bu), Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko, Traditional Dance, Traditional Music, Videos
Tagged bon-odori, geino-bu, geinobu, ishihara minyo, little tokyo, miwa lyric, miwalyric, mochi bytes, nisei week, nisei week parade, oaa, odori, okinawa, okinawa association of america, okinawan, ryukyukoku matsuri daiko, sanshin, shima minyo, Tamagusukuryu Kansen-Kai, Yonamine Keiko Ryubu Dojo, youtube
by Joseph Kamiya, OAA volunteer/videographer
On Friday, September 7th, we had the honor of hosting a meet and greet with USA Silver Medalist, Tamari Miyashiro (Women’s Volleyball)! With the U.S. national volleyball team, she won the Gold Medal at the 2011 FIVB World Grand Prix and recently won the Silver Medal at the 2012 Olympics. She had some great anecdotes and insights to share with us and we’re glad to be able to share them with you as well!
Here are a handful of video excerpts from that night… (full 1+ hour video coming soon, so please “like” us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for updates!)
60+ volunteers represented the Okinawa Association of America in this year’s Nisei Week Grand Parade (August 12, 2012)! Approx. 36 of them wore kasuri pattern kimonos and danced to choreographed Okinawan and Japanese Bon-Odori! One week later, 18 of our dancers returned to Little Tokyo to participate in the Nisei Week Ondo and Closing Ceremony!
Posted in Events, Kenjinkai, Little Tokyo, Nisei Week, Performances, Performing Arts Committee (Geino-bu), Photos, Traditional Dance, Traditional Music, Videos
Tagged bon-odori, geino-bu, geinobu, little tokyo, nisei week, nisei week parade, oaa, odori, okinawa association of america
Three of our volunteers, Joseph Kamiya, Nick Awakuni, and Keana Kaya visited the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute‘s Annual Carnival on June 23, 2012 to ask our community about their favorite foods. Watch what some of them had to say!
(click on the video below to watch or click here)