The Iha Four Sisters arrived to a breezy morning at the Honolulu International Airport. Â Their brief sound check while checking the instruments they will be borrowing for the concert, gave a glimpse of a great show to be anticipated. Â Their voices and emotion in the music, puts them at the top of female folk vocalists.
Watching and listening to them though, I realized that there was a down side to this group. Â This quartet may be the last in their generation of traditional female vocalists who are really grass roots and share their talents from their heart and soul. Â you can feel it in their music and singing. Â They have so much to share besides their music, and its sad to see that there are very few, if any, who are willing to follow in their footsteps. Â The younger generation seems to take this “art” as just entertainment, resulting in a show, rather than an experience. Â The focus of current Okinawan entertainers seem to also be business and money. Â Of course there isn’t anything wrong with that, but then the real Okinawan identity in “shimauta” may die as time goes on. Â What are we to do? Â Should we resolve to the easier way of just moving ahead?, or should we really work hard to preserve and pass down tradition?