Norman Kaneshiro, co-director and co-founder of Ukwanshin, is a grand master in Okinawan music, Nomura Ryu Ongaku Kyo Kai. He is the Musical Director of Ukwanshin. Kaneshiro was presented his teaching license in 1996 and grand master certificate in 2007. In 2009, he was designated by the Okinawan Prefecture Government as a cultural presevationsist of Okinawan classical music. Kaneshiro is currently a lecturer at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa Music Departmentâ€™s ethnomusicology program and has been teaching Okinawan ensemble classes since 2002.
Norman was featured in â€œFrom Race to Ethnicity:Interpreting Japanese American Experience in Hawaiiâ€ as an cultural advocate for traditional Okinawan dance, music and culture in Hawai`i and Okinawa. His article on â€œUchinÄnchu Identity in Hawaiiâ€ appeared in the
publication of Social Process in Hawaii, a journal by the University of Hawai`i at Manoa Department of Sociology. He was also the curator for â€œMii Gusui, mimi- gusui, Sustenance for the Eyes and Ears: Okinawan Performing Artsâ€ an exhibition sponsored by the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.