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Fixing the roof with Japanese and Okinawan dances

HANAPEPE — A local group is hosting a Japanese and Okinawan Song and Dance concert in an effort to raise money for some much needed construction work.

“We need to promote this effort to raise funds for repairing the temple’s roof,” said Jerry Hirata, president of the Kaua‘i Soto Zen Temple Zenshuji in Hanapepe.

“Our goal is to showcase groups that have been preserving and promoting musical forms of their respective cultures. The event also provides students an opportunity to share what they have learned with the community,” he said.

Some of the participating groups include the Azuma Ryu, or Nihon Buyo, the Soto Zen Ondo Dancers, the Kaua‘i Shinbuyo Kai, Afuso Ryu Choichi Kai and Hawai‘i Eisa Shinyuu Kai.

Individual performers include Afuso Ryu Choichi Kai with special guests Allison Arakaki and June Uyeunten.

The Kaua‘i Shibuyo Kai, established in 1980, is committed to preserving traditional, Japanese-style, odori folk dancing, Hirata said.

Afuso Choichi Kai from Kaua‘i and Honolulu will include Okinawan singing, dancing and drumming accompanied by the sanshin, led by June Uyeunten, a guest teacher from O‘ahu.

Additionally, Allison Arakawa, a guest performer, sings Japanese hole hole bushi, a genre of songs that were sung by women working in the canefields.

“The 4:30 p.m. start time on Saturday is for seniors and kupuna who don’t have to drive at night,” Hirata said.

“It also avoids the hottest time in the afternoon.”

Tickets for the Japanese and Okinawan Song and Dance are available by emailing kauaisotozen@gmail, or by calling 808-335-3521.

Admissison for the Kaua‘i Soto Zen Temple Zenshuji fundraiser is $15 for adults and $10 for children under the age of 12, and includes the dance and song performances, snacks, tea, nonalcoholic beverages and coffee. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or
Source: The Garden Island

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