Pigs from the Sea

4th Eisa Drum Festival, May 17, 2014 Kapi'olani Community College

Program Breakdown


Quick Links: Eisa Festival Photographs and Videos  |   Eisa Festival Video Playlist  |  Video Overview



TRADITIONAL SHISHIMAI: Hawaii Okinawa Creative Arts (HOCA)


The Shishimai, (she-she-MY) or Okinawan Lion Dance, is performed throughout the majority of towns and villages across Okinawa to drive away evil spirits and misfortune and to ensure good luck and a good harvest. In Okinawa, there are traditional performances which have been preserved and perpetuated for over a hundred years, as well as contemporary performances that accompany year-round contemporary eisa performances and celebrate special occasions. Performing with the accompaniment of live traditional jikata by Norman Kaneshiro-sensei.

VIDEO: Traditional Shishimai, HOCA (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/7-uU0USa34M

TRADITIONAL EISA: Young Okinawans of Hawaii (YOH), Part 1 of 2


The Young Okinawans of Hawaii (YOH) formed in 1981 when third generation leaders returned from a study tour of Okinawa with a renewed interest and love for their Okinawan heritage and culture. To perpetuate Okinawan culture and mentor future leaders, they formed an organization for young adults.

VIDEO: Traditional Eisa, YOH (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/Cn9KpkLCz4E

KARATE FORMS: Nuuanu Shinden Shorin Ryu Karate


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.

VIDEO: Karate Forms, Nuuanu Shinden Shorin Ryu Karate (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/2Hxqf6m7ADA

TRADITIONAL EISA: Young Okinawans of Hawaii (YOH), Part 2 of 2


In Okinawa, youth groups from different townships perform Eisa on Ukui or the 3rd day of Okinawa Obon and the day our ancestors depart.  Eisa dancers perform and parade through the streets - a performance called michi-june.  YOH takes pride in continuing this tradition of honoring the spirits of our ancestors in Hawaii, performing at many Obon festivities at Buddhist Temples all over the state. They also continue the tradition of michi-june or street Eisa performance on the third day of Obon each year.

VIDEO: Traditional Eisa, YOH (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/aqcvnsgNO4w

KOREAN DRUMMING: Halla Huhm Korean Dance Studio


The Halla Huhm Korean Dance Studio was established more than 60 years ago by the late Halla Huhm whose passion was to educate not only Koreans but the larger community about Korean culture through dance and music.

NONGAK or Farmer’s Dance and Music is one of the oldest folk traditions in Korea. In former times, during the planting and harvesting of crops, the villagers would celebrate by playing various percussion instruments while dancing. Featured is the hour-glass shaped drum called janggo which is the most versatile and widely used drum in Korean dance and music. Also featured will be Sangmo ch’um or the short streamer hat dance which is also part of this tradition. The dancers play a small hand drum called Sogo as they dance and manipulate the streamer on the hat.

VIDEO: Korean Drumming, Halla Huhm Studio (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/hpM_F2tz-Hg

SPECIAL GUEST: Hokulani, Honorary member of Chinagu Eisa Hawaii

VIDEO: Special Appearance by Hokulani - http://youtu.be/QjSG60NRgAY



Kajimaai is a contemporary Eisa group that has a very strong tradition of Kobudo, which is reflected in their official name, “Kobudo Taiko Team Kajimaai.” Kobudo refers to the weapons used in Okinawan martial arts, which you saw Nuuanu Shorin Ryu demonstrating earlier. It is said that Okinawans developed a fighting system around their traditional farming tools, turning them into weapons. Kajimaai practices three times a week, with one practice dedicated to Kobudo. It is unusual for a contemporary Eisa group to incorporate so much of Kobudo in their practice and performances. We now move from traditional to contemporary with a demonstration of Kobudo.

VIDEO: Kobudo, Kajimaai (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/opnWs96GLyM

CONTEMPORARY SHISHIMAI, Mirukumunari: Daiichi Hirata, Kajimaai, HOCA


Daiichi Hirata wrote the lyrics of the next song you will hear. The lyrics to Mirukumunari take inspiration from chants and prayers he learned as a child on Kohama Island. Performing with Daiichi is Hawaii’s newest shishi or lion, Shinkanyucha. The majority of the members of Kajimaai are from the city of Itoman in Okinawa. They have been invited to perform a shishimai in a Hawaii lion that came from Itoman, Okinawa. These lions and performers truly connect Hawaii and Okinawa.

VIDEO: Contemporary Shishimai, Mirukumunari (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/WzDqqFeJsjY

CONTEMPORARY EISA, Kajimaai Dance Party Mix: Kajimaai


Kajimaai means “Dance Like the Wind.” Twenty members of the group traveled to Hawaii to participate in the 4th Eisa Drum Festival. For 18 of them, it is their first time in Hawaii. These talented youth range in age from 12 to 21! Kajimaai are the winners of the 2011 Worldwide Eisa Festival competition in Okinawa. They will now perform “Kajimaai Dance Party Mix,” the number that they won the 2011 Worldwide Eisa Festival championship with!

VIDEO: Kajimaai Dance Party Mix, Kajimaai (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/kNUySWTvdXk

APPOINTMENT OF 10th EISA AMBASSADOR, Shari Y. Tamashiro: Daiichi Hirata

VIDEO: Appointment of Eisa Ambassador (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/mUYqlCNNnFQ

CONTEMPORARY EISA, Chinagu Eisa Hawaii: Part 1 of 2


This is Chinagu Eisa Hawaii’s fourth appearance at the Eisa Drum Festival. We are very proud to have them as part of the Eisa Festival Family. 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 EIGHTY 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.


Songs: 1) Kagiyadefu / Hula Yoshida, 2) Katemikachi, 3) Katamibushi, 4) Isshokenmei

VIDEO: Chinagu Eisa Hawaii, Part 1 of 2 (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/4WWx6Ncfk-k

COLLABORATION, Kuyuinu Hanashi: Daiichi Hirata and Kajimaai


Daiichi 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 Okinawan arts, culture and language. We are very excited to welcome Daiichi Hirata back to Hawaii!

VIDEO: Taiko & Chant, Daiichi Hirata (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/ivSkbh8BBzc
VIDEO: Kuyuinu Hanashi (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/sbnnIjk9u0k

CONTEMPORARY SHISHIMAI: Hawaii Okinawa Creative Arts (HOCA)


Tonight, we have members of Hawaii Okinawa Creative Arts also known as “HOCA” to provide both traditional and contemporary “Shishimai” performances with lions that represent Naha, Itoman, Aza Gushikawa, Haebaru, Kin, and Hawaii! With the exception of the Shishi known as “Shinkanyucha,” performed by Jon Itomura and Eric Nitta, the majority of the Hawaii Shishi or lion performances you will experience tonight involve young students who are still in elementary school or high school. Under the guidance of Jon and Eric, they are seeking to keep the spirit of Shishimai alive in the islands!

VIDEO: Contemporary Shishimai, HOCA (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/axSp4Fodeyo

COLLABORATION, Uniwashi: Daiichi Hirata and Kajimaai


Daiichi Hirata is famous in Okinawa for directing and producing epic musical productions all over Okinawa. His musicals deal with the history of Okinawa or the Ryukyus, as they were formally known. This next song was composed and written by Daiichi Hirata. He was very interested to learn about King Kamehameha, who united the Hawaiian Islands, because his story is very similar to that of King Sho Hashi, who united the Ryukyus and established the Ryukyu Kingdom. Unlike Hawaii, where most people know the story of Kamehameha, many in Okinawa do not know the story of Sho Hashi.


This song is part of the musical that he is creating to share the story of King Sho Hashi. Daiichi hopes to bring his musical to Hawaii in 2015. Daiichi Hirata and Kajimaai in the Hawaii premiere of UNIWASHI!

VIDEO: Uniwashi (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/zZEy961OmmQ
VIDEO: Who Am I? (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/7YAzOUWGbH8

CONTEMPORARY EISA, Chinagu Eisa Hawaii: Part 2 of 2


Chinagu Eisa Hawaii is closely connected to Naha Daiko, a popular Eisa group in Okinawa. Chinagu regularly sends their members to Okinawa to train with Naha Daiko, sometimes for up to two months at a time. 


We are excited to welcome Miki Yamakawa, a member of Naha Daiko, who is here with us today. Miki has been with Naha Daiko from the age of 8 and has been been drumming with them for 11 years. Miki came to Hawaii in late March and will be here to the beginning of June. She is attending an English language school while training Chinagu Eisa Hawaii 4-5 times a week.

VIDEO: Chinagu Eisa Hawaii, Part 2 of 2 (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/-kewsizLJ9I



Songs: 1) Heiwa no Ryuka Uta (dedicated to 92 year old Hideo Kaneshiro), 2) Ansemu, 3) Gokoku Hojo, 4) Go Go Ahead.

VIDEO: Kajimaai, Mix (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/30TeXMQDZO0

FINALE, Daiichi Hirata: Chant

VIDEO: Daiichi Hirata, Chant (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/qJpWPy02E1U

FINALE, Dynamic Ryukyu: Daiichi Hirata, Kajimaai, Chinagu Eisa Hawaii


Dynamic Ryukyu, a song written and composed by Daiichi Hirata, performed by Daiichi Hirata, Kajimaai and Chinagu Eisa Hawaii..

VIDEO: Collaboration, Dynamic Ryukyu (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/WgmA2ySVlNs

GRAND FINALE, Cheer for Soya & Shinkanyucha: All Performers with Special Guest Soya Miyagi


Video by Augusto DeCastro includes Soya Miyagi's story, the Cheer for Soya and the dedication of the Grand Finale of Shinkanyucha to Soya.

VIDEO: Grand Finale, Shinkanyucha (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/nwCi8zXvTPQ

FINIS, Kachashii & Hawaii Aloha

VIDEO: Kachashii and Hawaii Aloha (Augusto DeCastro) - http://youtu.be/OBdb7GC3I6c

3rd Eisa Drum Festival

4th Eisa Drum Festival (May 17, 2014)

Featured performers: Chinagu Eisa Hawaii (Lisa Tamashiro), Hawaii Okinawa Creative Arts (Jon Itomura), Young Okinawans of Hawaii (David Jones) and Nuuanu Shorin Ryu Karate (Mitchel Shimamura).

Special Guests: Daiichi Hirata, Kajimaai, and Halla Huhm (Mary Jo Freshley).

Producer/Director: Shari Y. Tamashiro.

Stage: Dorene Niibu.

MC: Cyrus Tamashiro, Lynn Miyahira.
Advisors: Jane Kaneshiro, Norman Kaneshiro.