Tag Archives: performing arts

2017 OAA Members Picnic, Scholarship Awards, Okinawan Bon Dance

Artwork by Teak Oliver

Okinawa Association of America’s Annual Members Picnic
Sunday, July 16 • 11AM ~ 4PM (opens @ 10) • Whittier Narrows Park

750 Santa Anita Avenue, Area E-1, South El Monte • On-site parking fee: $6

(Non-members are also encouraged to attend the event and apply for membership)

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PICNIC:
REASONS TO ATTEND & TIPS
SPONSORS
ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES
RAFFLE PRIZES
BENTO LUNCHES
BON DANCING
YOUTH ART CONTEST

Volunteers needed on July 15th and 16th. Click here to see the volunteer schedule and contact us to sign up: 310-532-1929, oaamensore@gmail.com

WHITTIER NARROWS MAP

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Utayabira Wuduyabira 2015, Okinawan Performing Arts Showcase

2015 Utayabira Wuduyabira
Okinawa Soul: Music & Dance Concert in Torrance

On Sunday, May 17th, the Okinawa Association of America (OAA) will bring the sights, sounds, and spirit of the Ryukyu Islands to the James R. Armstrong Theatre in Torrance! Titled “Utayabira Wuduyabira” – which means “let’s sing, let’s dance” in Uchinaaguchi (the Okinawan language) – this biennial concert is one of the only recurring events in Los Angeles that celebrates and shares the performing arts of Okinawa.

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A Look Back at 2014

2014 Collage

Written by Joseph Kamiya
OAA Culture Committee chairperson

We know that this list doesn’t do justice to the wonderful year we had — what were YOUR favorite OAA moments of 2014? Let us know in the comments section!

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2014 NKK Scholarship for Students of Japanese Culture

The Nanka Kenjinkai Kyogikai (Japanese Prefectural Association of Southern California) is now accepting applications for its 2014 scholarship for outstanding students of Japanese culture (e.g. art, entertainment, martial arts, etc). Qualifying applicants must be current members of a kenjinkai, between 17 – 27 years of age, and a dedicated practitioner of a Japanese cultural tradition. Applying consists of a recommendation letter from the instructor of the Japanese cultural tradition, a recommendation from your kenjinkai, transcripts and passport photos.

If you are a member of OAA and interested in applying for this scholarship, please contact the OAA at 310-532-1929 or mensore @ earthlink . net (please remove all of the spaces in the email address).

The scholarship application deadline to be considered as an OAA nominee is July 31, so please contact us as soon as possible!

2013 Okinawan Bon Dance & Picnic

The Okinawa Association of America (OAA)‘s Annual Picnic has been a tradition for local Okinawans and Okinawans-at-heart since its first incarnation in the 1930’s. The picnic has always been a highly anticipated event for families enjoying summer afternoons of homemade treats, family games, and Okinawan cultural performances. It has also become the venue for the OAA to award its annual scholarships to graduating high school students.

This year will mark the seventh year of Okinawa-style bon dancing at the OAA Picnic. Regardless of age or experience, everybody is invited to participate! Okinawa-style bon dancing is accompanied by dancing drummers (eisa) and sanshin (banjo-like instrument) musicians. The origin of bon dancing is a Buddhist ritual to soothe the souls of ancestors during the summer Bon (or Obon) Festival.

The OAA Picnic will be held on Sunday, July 7, 10AM – 4PM, at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Park (download park map), Area E-1, 750 Santa Anita Ave., South El Monte. Teriyaki bento orders ($7 each) and pre-sale raffle tickets ($1 each) are now available to purchase until June 28.  Top raffle prizes are an iPad Mini donated by Kamiya Insurance Agency, and a flatscreen HD TV donated by the OAA Seisonenbu Activities Committee. Parking is $6. Please contact the OAA office at (310) 532-1929 or mensore@earthlink.net for more information.

Download the bento/raffle pre-order form and raffle ticket form

Please submit your pre-order form, raffle ticket form, and payment (made payable to the “Okinawa Association of America”) to: 16500 South Western Avenue #203, Gardena, CA 90247.

Bon dance practices will take place on June 24 and July 1, 7:30 PM, at the Higashi Bldg. of the OAA Center, 16500 S. Western Ave., Gardena. Practices are open to the public. Practice videos are posted here.

Practice Videos for the OAA’s Bon Dance

20130617-BonDance 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!

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Okinawan Music & Dance Showcase | 2013 Utayabira Wuduyabira

5/5 Utayabira Wuduyabira

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 mensore@earthlink.net 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!