Pigs from the Sea

3rd Eisa Drum Festival, May 11, 2013 Kapi'olani Community College

"We Are One Community" - Program Breakdown


MEEKATA: Young Okinawans of Hawaii, Jikata


Meekata is a dance that employs the bou, one of the deadliest weapons in Okinawan karate. Although the dance is based on martial arts, it symbolizes the inner fortitude and determined spirit of the Okinawan people to protect their culture and their identity. This is an invocation to call upon the blessings of the ancestors to bring good fortune to today’s celebration of Okinawan culture.




Paying tribute to the traditional roots of Okinawan drumming, Terry Higa-sensei of Hawaii Taiko Kai explained and demonstrated classical Okinawan taiko. Hawaii Taiko Kai performed Kageadefu and Shintageri Ashibi.

VIDEO: Hawaii Taiko Kai (POV Entertainment) - http://youtu.be/RkAAFKD2A7w

TRADITIONAL EISA: Chinagu Eisa Hawaii


Traditional forms of Eisa, which were performed to honor the ancestors, are the root of contemporary Eisa. While they perform a contemporary style of drumming, Chinagu Eisa Hawaii honored their roots with the traditional songs, ChunJyun Nagari, Kudaka Manjyusuya, and Tenyo Bushi. Jikata provided by Derek Ichiro Shiroma-sensei and Okinawan Minyo Kyokai Hawaii.

VIDEO: Chinagu Eisa Hawaii (POV Entertainment) - http://youtu.be/QrbA87G3YpM

VIDEO: Chinagu Eisa Hawaii 1/5 (808CEH) - http://youtu.be/VG4tLV6nP0M

VIDEO: Chinagu Eisa Hawaii (masukniq) - http://youtu.be/JNrzZP3JHOYM

TRADITIONAL SHISHIMAI: Hawaii Okinawa Creative Arts


The Shishimai, (she-she-MY) or Okinawan Lion Dance, is performed every year in towns and villages across Okinawa to drive away evil spirits and misfortune and to insure good luck and a good harvest. Jikata provided by Derek Ichiro Shiroma-sensei, Derek Fujio-sensei, Terry Higa-sensei.

VIDEO: Okinawan Lion Dance (POV Entertainment) - http://youtu.be/RLxtb2_6ZHM

COLLABORATION, CHANT OF ISLAND PEOPLES: Nawa'a Kawika Napoleon and Daiichi Hirata


Nawa’a Kawika Napoleon, the department chair of the Language, Linguistic and Literature department at Kapiolani Community College and our special guest performer, Daiichi Hirata, who traveled all the way from Okinawa reprise one of last year’s most powerful performances, Chant of Island Peoples.

VIDEO: Chant of Island Peoples 2012 (Augusto Decastro) - http://youtu.be/T2kFpJ9Kr1Q



Eisa did not begin with taiko or drums but was more about chanting, dancing, and the use of hands. Daiichi Hirata and Requios take us back to the roots of Eisa with this special performance of Uchijo: The Chant of the Chondara!

VIDEO: Uchijo: Chant of the Chondara (Augusto Decastro) - http://youtu.be/nSlQlRv51kA

VIDEO: Uchijo: Chant of the Chondara (POV Entertainment) - http://youtu.be/XK6po3--waY


KARATE FORMS: Nuuanu Shorin Ryu Karate, Jikata


According to Charles Goodin, karate can be traced back to the end of the 12th century in the Ryukyu Kingdom. It developed from a combination of native Ryukyuan and Chinese fighting traditions.  Karate came to Hawaii in 1900 with the first Okinawan immigrants and over a century later, is still going strong. Demonstrating the various forms of Okinawan karate is Nuuanu Shorin Ryu! Jikata provided by Norman Kaneshiro-sensei, Derek Ichiro Shiroma-sensei.




REQUIOS is what the Portuguese called the people of Ryukyu. The Eisa group REQUIOS was established in 1998 and specializes in contemporary Eisa and shishimai or the Okinawan lion dance. They perform all over the world, doing as many as 250 performances in a single year. We are honored to have the 2012 Worldwide Eisa Festival Champions celebrating here with us today. REQUIOS performing Eisa Medley, Okinawa Harii Boat Song, and Kunnjann Sabakuri.

VIDEO: Eisa Medley (Augusto Decastro) - http://youtu.be/iAHAA18BU9E

VIDEO: Eisa Medley (POV Entertainment) - http://youtu.be/ZKyqlARLWS0

DEDICATION TO ELEANOR ITOMURA: Daiichi Hirata, Yoko Hirata, Jon Itomura, and Eric Nitta


The 3rd Eisa Drum Festival was dedicated to the memory of the late Eleanor Itomura. In a special performance in the shishi or lion she helped bring to Hawaii, her son Jon Itomura and son-in-law Eric Nitta performed her favorite song from last year’s eisa festival together with Daiichi and Yoko Hirata.

VIDEO: Dedication (Augusto Decastro) - http://youtu.be/biVQk7ynUN8



Umikajiputuu is a song about the people who immigrated from Okinawa to places all over the world. REQUIOS created this song to show their respect to the Issei or first generation who came to Hawaii and they are performing it as a gift to the people of Hawaii.

VIDEO: Umikajuputuu (POV Entertainment) - http://youtu.be/yq3qsOiMgvg

CONTEMPORARY EISA: Chinagu Eisa Hawaii


Chinagu Eisa is symbolized by the Chinese character “kizuna,” which means strong emotional bonds. For the group, whose members range in age from FIVE years old to SEVENTY years young, kizuna represents the connection between generations of drummers, between Okinawa and Hawaii, between East and West, and the connection that you have with your culture as an individual. Chinagu Eisa Hawaii is closely connected to Naha Daiko, a popular Eisa group in Okinawa. They perform Kagiyadefu/Tachiutushi and Hiyarugahei. Followed by my favorite, Nirai Kanaiye. Then Yosakoi Eisa, Danjyu Kariyushi/Toshindoi, and Isshokenmei.

VIDEO: Nirai Kanaiye (Augusto Decastro) - http://youtu.be/gfJktoeAPP4

VIDEO: part 2 (POV Entertainment) - http://youtu.be/KXgv2tOiTKA

VIDEO: Nirai Kanaiye (POV Entertainment) - http://youtu.be/GjGryddhhsA

VIDEO: part 4 (POV Entertainment) - http://youtu.be/MQjGCrZwZpM

VIDEO: part 5 (POV Entertainment) - http://youtu.be/je-4lgwi6po

VIDEO: part 7 (POV Entertainment) - http://youtu.be/b-2sQIeKTKc

VIDEO: Kagiyadefu, Tachiutushi Sugachi, Hiyarugahei (808CEH) - http://youtu.be/CfyRUrdrCcQ

VIDEO: Nirai Kanaie, Yosakoi Eisa (808CEH) - http://youtu.be/m269xfHjnyI

VIDEO: Danjou, Toshindoi, Isshou Kenmei (808CEH) - http://youtu.be/RKP2yaeENbs



Daiichi Hirata is an acclaimed artist from Kohama Island, Okinawa. He worked for the Okinawa Prefectural Government as the Director of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports but is now working for the Okinawan Arts Council to promote, preserve and perpetuate the Okinawan arts, culture and language. He is famous in Okinawa for directing and producing epic musical productions all over Okinawa like Amawari. Daiichi wrote and composed this song, which is the theme from Amawari, Kimutaka no Uta.




Daiichi Hirata wrote the lyrics of this song, which takes inspiration from chants and prayers he learned as a child on Kohama Island.

VIDEO: Mirukumunari (perisblurbs) - http://youtu.be/_kwEYVMCAnE



Derek Ichiro Shiroma-sensei of Okinawa Minyo Kyokai established the Urizun Minyo Group to instill a love of Okinawan music in a new generation and give them a chance to perform songs on sanshin and other instruments. Students from his school range in age from 5 to 92 years. They learn traditional folk songs, as well as contemporary spins on minyo or Okinawan folk music. Urizun performs Mensore, Shimanchu nu Takara, Asadoya Yunta, and Hiyamikachi.

VIDEO: Mensore (POV Entertainment) - http://youtu.be/T-uvg0lQX50

VIDEO: Shimanchu nu Takara (POV Entertainment) - http://youtu.be/RfB3234-zxI

VIDEO: Asadoya Yunta (POV Entertainment) - http://youtu.be/Hry6yusEzaQ



The first number you will see, Nozokikarakui, is a Chondara song that is even older than Uchijo, which you saw earlier. In Chondara times, Chondara used to hold a “karakui” box that would have dolls or puppets magically moving within it. The two Requios drummers are performing as the dolls or puppets that the Chondara would magically move within the karakui box.


The second number will be a special shishimai! Requios are famous in Okinawa for their contemporary shishimai or lion dance skills. This shishimai is special because the head of Hawaii’s youngest shisa lion, named Shinkanyucha or “Shinka”, is a copy of the lion owned by the founder of Requios, who gave his permission to have a new lion head created and brought to Hawaii. Requios will be performing "The Wind Going Over Asia" in Hawaii’s youngest lion Shinkanyucha to commemorate the connection between Okinawa and Hawaii.

VIDEO: Nozokikarakui and Wind Going Over Aisa (Augusto Decastro) - http://youtu.be/TIs4rB6t_LA

VIDEO: Nozokikarakui and Wind Going Over Aisa (808CEH) - http://youtu.be/CUIFlLkKyAU

COLLABORATION: Chinagu Eisa Hawaii and Nuuanu Shorin Ryu Karate


In Contemporary Eisa you will see movements influenced by karate kata. Exploring the connection between karate and Eisa, we have this first time collaboration between Chinagu Eisa and Nuuanu Shorin Ryu Karate. Kiseki and Jyuunigenmu.

VIDEO: Kisei, Jyuunigenmu (POV Entertainment) - http://youtu.be/_LG1GkiJlzY

VIDEO: Kisei, Jyuunigenmu (808CEH) - http://youtu.be/J9IujFWqM5I

VIDEO: Kisei (masukniq) - http://youtu.be/WETeq3tD1Kg

VIDEO: Jyuunigenmu (masukniq) - http://youtu.be/xLgg8cU-x9A



Paying their respect to the traditional roots of Eisa, which honors the ancestors during the O-Bon season, Requios will do a final number: Ninnbuchaa!

VIDEO: Ninnbuchaa (Augusto Decastro) - http://youtu.be/p7tb9yLE6g0

VIDEO: Ninnbuchaa (POV Entertainment) - http://youtu.be/Ug-1I3unNR4

COLLABORATION, DYNAMIC RYUKYU: Daiichi Hirata and Hawaii Okinawa Creative Arts


With the exception of the Shishi Shinka, performed by Jon Itomura and Eric Nitta, all of the Hawaii Shishi or lions you will see performing in this next number are kids still in elementary school or high school. Under the guidance of Jon and Eric, they are keeping the tradition of Shishimai alive in the islands and are the future! Performing to Daiichi Hirata’s song, Dynamic Ryukyu, are the Hawaii Shishi and Daiichi Hirata.

VIDEO: Dynamic Ryukyu (POV Entertainment) - http://youtu.be/tiefit8R4oA

SPECIAL PERFORMANCE, JUKU NO HARU: Saeko Higa and Urizun Minyo Group


The late Goro Sumida of the 100th Infantry Battalion was a good friend of our festival chairperson and many members of Urizun Minyo Group. He loved going to eat Okinawan food at Sunrise Restaurant and partying. His favorite Okinawan song, which he fell in love with while drinking many beers at Hanagasa Inn, was Juku no Haru. Goro kept a battered copy of the lyrics folded up in his wallet and would always ask for this song to be sung. Derek Ichiro Shiroma-sensei and Saeko Higa went to visit Goro when he was nearing the end and sang him his favorite Okinawan song. We want to remember this wonderful man who was a true Okinawan at Heart and so special to so many of us in the Okinawan community. This is for you, Goro. Your song: Juku no Haru. 

VIDEO: Juku no Haru (POV Entertainment) - http://youtu.be/PMz_QdmI1ig



Our soloist Saeko Higa is from Uruma City, Okinawa. She has been studying at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and graduated today with a Masters Degree in Public Administration! Saeko’s parents travelled from Okinawa to be with her at her commencement ceremony. I would like to introduce Masaya and Atsuko Higa from Uruma City! Saeko will be singing an adapted version of Tinsagu nu Hana, a song that honors the wisdom of our parents. Saeko is singing this song tonight to honor HER parents and to thank them for everything they have done to support her in getting a good education.


GRAND FINALE, SHINKANYUCHA: All 2013 Eisa Festival Performers


Tonight, you saw individual performances by Eisa, Karate, Taiko, Minyo and Shisa. You saw traditional and contemporary numbers. But you also saw many incredible collaborations. . .and who can forget that stunning Chant of Island Peoples that brought together Hawaii and Okinawa. It is a reminder that though we may be very different. . .traditional or contemporary. . .classical or folk. . .eisa or taiko. . .Hawaii or Okinawa. . . In the spirit of Yuimaaru, communities supporting one another. . .we are at heart, ONE community.

For our Grand Finale, we chose the song, Shinkanyucha, which was written by Daiichi Hirata. It means “Gathering of Friends” and what better way to end this celebration than by a gathering of all of the 3rd Eisa Festival performers for one final number!

VIDEO: Finale (Augusto Decastro) - http://youtu.be/L-juJH0JAQw

VIDEO: Finale (POV Entertainment) - http://youtu.be/-LdYU1PeDTw

VIDEO: Finale (808CEH) - http://youtu.be/knrOE7MsV7Y

VIDEO: Finale (masukniq) - http://youtu.be/QaAPN-R7qfs


3rd Eisa Drum Festival

3rd Eisa Drum Festival (May 11, 2013)

Featured performers: Hawaii Taiko Kai (Terry Higa), Chinagu Eisa Hawaii (Lisa Tamashiro), Urizun Minyo Group (Derek Ichiro Shiroma), Hawaii Okinawa Creative Arts (Jon Itomura), and Nuuanu Shorin Ryu Karate (Mitchel Shimamura).

Meekata: Young Okinawans of Hawaii (David Jones).

Special Guests from Okinawa: Daiichi Hirata, Yoko Hirata, Saeko Higa, and REQUIOS.

Producer/Director: Shari Y. Tamashiro. Stage Manager: Dorene Niibu. Advisor: Norman Kaneshiro.

Copyright 2014 Shari Y. Tamashiro. All Rights Reserved