Aloha & Hai-tai mina-san,
It is especially enjoyable when family unites to practice and play together. It brings warm feelings of comfort for me (in such a cold place like Virginia during the winter) to know one day my children will have something to share among themselves as siblings and ultimately to share their cultural journey with their children. They will remember dad taking the pictures and video just as I do with fond memories. They will also know my struggle but hopefully continue my quest as theirs, to make more progress in learning about their heritage than I did as I feel I am at a dead end at times. Though I will do my best to get the answers so they won’t have to struggle like I am/have been. It’s just that as time goes by, it seems that the folks who have the memories of any relatives will no longer be around as well as pictures. I wish I knew my grandparents on both sides, but with respect to my Okinawan side, I do not have pictures of my mother’s parents as she has never had them, yet, my hope is that my journey will enable me to piece together as much of our family connections (pictures, history, etc) as possible.
Although I have yet to learn my grandmothers full name, I believe she also shares our experiences and joy. She is with my mother, I have told her, yet my mother doesn’t know what I am saying. My biggest fans are my family (Okinawan family like Tsuruko) who are not here but passed who support me through such difficult times though my Okinawan journey. It is difficult to explain and also very difficult for most to understand.
Well, my initial thought was that my daughter (inagungwa) would perform Asadoya Yunta dance. However, her interest and independence prevailed. She preferred and took a liking to 小浜節 Kumoma Bushi (also called Kubama) so I kept an open mind. She did much better in practice than on stage but that isn’t important to me, it is much more important that she had the chance and memory of dancing with her friends and 2 brothers playing sanshin and dancing for the first time with me. It was important for her to express herself and share the beauty of Okinawan culture.
Thank you to all who support us, and taking the time to read this note.
Well, I am not sure if I should be happy or disappointed. I just saw the article in the Okinawa Times. If my translation from Google is correct, it states that I commented how Nakasone Sensei was “strict”. This is not true.
Unfortunately, I do not speak or read Japanese, but rather studying on my own when I find time.
Please know, please hear my voice now. I have fond memories of my first dance instructor, Sensei Nakasone. I believe her caring, kind, and tender words and gentle manner is what helped further my interest in Okinawan dance. She was not strict, not ever with me.
I was asked to make a statement as someone I know was writing a short article. In response to her article request, here’s what I sent her via email.
“It was truly a very pleasurable experience for me to meet my first ryubu instructor as she made a positive impression with me. One of my first dances that I learned was called Asadoya Yunta which was also one of my most enjoyable dances and made such a positive impression. I still remember it after all these years! It was also very delightful to meet an acquaintance of my mother, Mr. Sandaa. Especially as I haven’t seen my mother in nearly 10 years! I am again delighted to have been a part of welcoming her, Sandaa, and the group to the DC area. At times like this, it truly seems like a small world after all.”
Here’s the article. http://article.okinawatimes.co.jp/article/2012-11-19_41719
Please know that I was very happy to see Sensei Nakasone after all these years.
With blessings to my first dance sensei and her family as well as a Happy Thanksgiving wish to everyone,
Here’s an excerpt from Yelp.com about Tuigwaa-chan! For the full article, click here. If for some reason it doesn’t open, it was on 10/16/2011 and was reviewed by Dan F. in Fairfax, VA.
“…Overall, pretty good food, average price and cute atmosphere. They even had a lady playing a Japanese type of guitar instrument and singing. When the sushi chef had a chance, he came out from behind the sushi bar and sang with her.”