30th Okinawan Festival

(HawaiiNewsNow) - The Okinawan Festival is organized and run by an army of over two thousand volunteers from the HUOA's 49 member-clubs and their extended 'ohana of Uchinanchu and Uchinanchu-at-heart. Proceeds from the Okinawan Festival are used to fund the HUOA's cultural programs. The first Okinawan Festival was held in 1982 at McCoy Pavilion at Ala Moana Park. In 1990, the 90th anniversary of Okinawan immigration to Hawaii, the Festival moved to Kapiolani Park, attracting a larger, broader and more ethnically diverse audience. The move proved to be one of the most successful means of sharing Okinawan culture with residents and visitors alike. For more information about the Okinawan Festival, click HERE!

Saturday, September 1 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Live entertainment, food booths & activities

Saturday, September 2 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Okinawan Festival Bon Dance

Okinawa Soba, Choco-Dipped Andagi, Andadog & Andagi Booths open until 8:00 pm

Sunday, September 2 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Live entertainment, food booths & activities

Craft Gallery and Children's Games close at 4:30 pm



Are you ready to enjoy two full days of continuous live entertainment by groups from Okinawa and Hawaii? From Eisa to odori to sanshin music, you'll be treated to Hawaii's best Okinawan music, dance and cultural groups, as well as special guest performers from Okinawa. Among the several artists from Okinawa this year, Keiko Kina & Family, Naha Daiko featuring Suguru Ikeda, a special lion dance performance, Mamoru Miyagi with Yoko Hizuki and more will grace the stage this weekend!


Special Lion Dance Performance - Saturday at 2:30 pm

Throughout Okinawa, the lion-dog, shisa, performs at festivals and rituals to dispel evil spirits, bringing prosperity and fertility to the community. Special artisans hand craft the head and body of the shisa. Back in 1950, a pair of shisa were handcrafted, one remained in Hawaii and one gifted to the Miyahira village in Haebaru Town in Okinawa to replace the one lost during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II. Athletic, nimble pair of shisa dancers impress with choreographed tumbles and jumps. In celebration of the 30th Okinawan Festival and for the first time ever, a shisa from Okinawa will entertain you with its sibling shisa from Hawaii.

Kouta Itoh - Saturday, September 1 at 3:30 pm

Performing for the first time in Hawaii, Kouta Itoh will delight you with his heart warming performance! Itoh beat out other artists to win the coveted Radio Okinawa Miuta Taisho Contest. A popular radio station in Okinawa, Radio Okinawa's Miuta Taisho (literal translation is Radio Okinawa's new song contest) is an original minyou or shima-uta (folk music or island music) composition contest.

Keiko Kina & Family - Saturday at 4:00 pm

Popular with locals and visitors alike in Okinawa, Keiko Kina & Family will get you off your seat with upbeat Okinawan shima-uta music. Kina, son Eddie and granddaughters Masayo and Stephanie make up the quartet. Kina's been surrounded by music all her life, growing up in a musical family, and having performed with her brother, Shoukichi Kina's Champloose. Enjoy an upbeat mix of contemporary Okinawan songs!


Naha Daiko With Special Guest Suguru Ikeda - Sunday at 3:00 & 3:30 pm

From Naha, Okinawa, Naha Daiko shares its original eisa style, based on traditional Okinawan Eisa, in a joint performance with Chinagu Eisa Hawaii, featuring Ikeda Suguru on vocals. A popular Okinawan artist, Ikeda Suguru, will add his powerful voice to a surely stunning eisa performance. Well known throughout Japan, Ikeda played the lead actor in Endo no Hana (Flowers by the Wayside) television series. He's been a radio personality, author and lecturer. One of his more famous songs is, "Obaachan no Uta", a beautiful ballad dedicated to his Grandmother, living in Iriomote Island.

Mamoru Miyagi & Yoko Hizuki - Sunday at 4:00 pm

A crowd favorite and for his sixth appearance, one of Okinawa's most refined and talented shimauta singers, Mamoru Miyagi, will grace the stage on Sunday at 4:00 pm. So richly mellow in his vocal delivery, he performs many of his own compositions. The lyrics are heartwarming and full of beauty and appreciation for his island home. Performing with Miyagi once again, Ms. Yoko Hizuki compliments with her soothing alto.


While you're here, get a taste of Uchinanchu (Okinawan) cuisine and try some onolicous grinds:

New on the Menu!

• Chocolate Dipped Andagi - Try a fun new take on a good ol' favorite - andagi dipped in chocolate on a stick. Only available at the Saturday Bon Dance.

• Chicken Nishime - a healthy dish of chicken, mushroom, daikon(turnip), carrots, konbu (seaweed) slowly braised and simmered in dashi, served with brown or white rice. Available only on Saturday

Good Ol' Favorties!

· Pig Feet Soup - pig's feet cooked in soup stock and garnished with seaweed, turnip, squash and mustard cabbage

· Yakisoba - stir-fried Okinawan style soba noodles with vegetable and luncheon meat

· Okinawa Soba - Okinawan style soba noodles served in hot soup and garnished with fishcake, shoyu pork, green onions and red ginger

· Champuru Plate- shoyu pork, stir-fried vegetables, luncheon meat and deep-fried tofu

· Okidog - a hot dog and chili are wrapped in a soft tortilla with shredded shoyu pork and lettuce

· Andagi - Okinawan deep fried donut

· Taco Rice - a dish invented in Okinawa which combines the main ingredients of the Tex-Mex taco, but layered on a bed of rice. Taco Rice is served in izakaya, independent restaurants and fast food chains throughout Okinawa and in certain areas of mainland Japan. Taco Rice will be available on Saturday and Sunday as a small meal, perfect for "grazers" who want to taste a little bit of everything at festivals.

· Andadog - Okinawan version of the corndog. A hot dog on a stick that is dipped into Andagi batter and deep fried and more!



The HUOA's Okinawan Festival Shuttle Bus will run continuously during the Festival. Park free at Kapiolani Community College and ride roundtrip in a cool air conditioned bus to Kapiolani Park. There is a storage compartment on the side of the bus for baby strollers and large bags. In addition, the bus drivers will happily assist passengers in getting on and off the bus. $2 return tickets can be purchased at the Information Booth and Shuttle Stop Booth at Kapiolani Park.

Shuttle Drop Off & Pick Up Locations

Kapiolani Community College: at City Bus Stop on Diamond Head Road

Kapiolani Park: Monsarrat Avenue

Saturday, September 1: 7:00 am - 10:30 pm

Last departure from Kapiolani Park at 10:30 pm

Sunday, September 2: 7:00 am - 6:00 pm

Last departure from Kapiolani Park at 6:00 pm


The Hawaii United Okinawa Association is the umbrella organization for 49 locality clubs whose members are descendants of Okinawan immigrants, most of whom settled in Hawaii in the early 1900s. The member clubs of HUOA are comprised of families whose ancestors immigrated to Hawaii from the same region in Okinawa. HUOA thus plays an important role in fostering the Okinawan ethnic identity. Today, membership through the member clubs total over 40,000. The member clubs are organized by shi (city), cho (township) and son (village). For further information, visit the organization's website HERE!

For more information about the Okinawan Festival or Hawaii United Okinawa Association, call (808)676-5400 or email.

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