Road to Cultural Preservation Not Easy

Dancing for Royalty Dancing for Royalty The Ukwanshin Kabudan is commited to shairng the Okinawa culture through all aspects of music and dance, while linking to the history . This helps to provide a better understanding of our heritage and appreciate more clearly, the classical music and dances that have survived the centuries, famine, war, and persecution. We have found much hunger for this, especially in Maui Island, and the Okinawan Community there. In March, we plan to bring the show LooChoo nu Kwa, Children of Loochoo, to the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. In taking our shows and workshops to share, we have also found some stumbling blocks which have revealed to us that there are Okinawan descendants who would like to receive only the surface of their culture, and forget about parts of history and ceremony which are connected. We do not promote nor recruit conversions to Okinawan religion, or politics. The dances and music have played an integral part in the lives of the people, even our 1st generation immigrants. It was interesting to find that a few influential members of the Maui Kenjin Kai, have opposed our program and a few main reasons were that we present religious and political issues which may offend members. For these few to make a decision such as this, only hurts and deprives the majority of the community of their culture. Our culture is not just andagi and kachashi. Like any show, the audience is left up to how much content they want to take in and understand. We present what our ancestors have handed down to us, and also present it in story form to make the music and dance easier to understand and enjoy. The story deals with reality. A 4th generation grandson returns home for his grandmother’s funeral, only to realize how much he’s missed and doesn’t really understand. Memories return, and he sees that there was so much to learn. If we don’t remember what our ancestors have passed down, and which are connected to the music and dance, we would be denying their very existance.Challenges make us try even harder. We look forward to present to Maui the story of LooChoo nu Kwa. Everyone who comes to this show will see something they can relate to, and hopefully bring back some good memories. In almost all study of cultural arts, history, religion and politics are virtually unavoidable. Events in the lives of people are what brings the best creations.

3 thoughts on “Road to Cultural Preservation Not Easy

  1. Rob

    I don’t see why a group of “Okinawans” on Maui would find what you’re doing as being offensive. I looked through your blog and I didn’t find anything outrageous or out of the ordinary.

    Okinawa and Japan are clearly two distinct civilizations. There’s a lot of new books and journal articles written on Okinawa, but then again you got a lot of people who don’t bother to read, even though these materials are written in English.

  2. Eric

    Thank you for your comment. It is comforting to see someone on the outside who understands and can see the whole picture. Sometimes, we as humans need to do that. Step out of the picture to look and see. This is what we have done to realize our mission in perpetuating and preserving our culture and arts. In these days where everything seems to lead people to fast rewards and self worth, more and more tradition and history is being forgotten and lost. Many times these have led to frustration, vice, and even war, because people are no longer grounded in who they are and cannot appreciate others because they don’t understand themselves. Hopefully our efforts to bring our culture will help in some small way. Thank you again for taking the time to write.

  3. Alika

    From looking over your website and blog, I think your group is doing a great job to do what you need to, just as the Hawaiians had to struggle to start the ball rolling for the re-birth of Hawaiian pride and culture. Within the Hawaiian community, we also had our few who did not want to go too deep. Its very disappointing to see however, that religion and politics have become a banner to try and block things of the past which is truly part of history. I applaud your efforts and look forward to seeing the fruits of your labor. Imua! Fight on!

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