Maui Okinawa Festival “Releasing Their Okinawan Spirit!”

The Maui Okinawa Festival was held on June 16th, at the Maui Mall in Kahului.  Maui Okinawa Kenjinkai members, their families and friends, worked hard with preparations as things went into full gear with food prep from one week prior.  The hard work and planning showed as locals and visitors alike were treated to home grown Okinawa pride.

Various groups were represented for entertainment as the time was filled with non-stop local Okinawan entertainment.  Participating was Maui Okinawa Taiko, Mukaito Taiko, Jimpu kai USA Kin Ryosho Geino Kenkyu-sho-Maui, Hawaii Taiko Kai-Maui, Maui Okinawa Sanshin, Afuo Ryu Choichi-Kai Maui,Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Maui, Maui Ryukyu Culture Group, and as featured guests, Ukwanshin Kabudan.

The Okinawa Culture Room had displays and video of various Okinawan arts, food, music, dance and history.  There was also live demonstrations on cooking, music and culture throughout the day.  The entrance to the room was decorated like a gate from Shuri Castle, and cute Okinawan costumed girls greeted everyone with special fliers and pamphlets on Okinawa that were provided by the Okinawa Visitors and Tourist Bureau.

The food is always an attraction, and they were serving up maui’s famous “Ashitibichi” pig’s feet soup, which is usually a sellout.

The Maui Okinawan community should be proud of their work, especially the core families and individuals who are there to coordinate and provide manpower for all events and gatherings.  The young and upcoming leaders for the Okinawan community there are also to be applauded, as they worked hard to do the planning and bring together the vision of the event.  Thank you Maui for having Ukwanshin over, and for all your hard work!  Ippe Nifwedebiru!

Here are some links to video from the festival.