The East-West Center Arts Program, in cooperation with the Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts and the Hawai‘i United Okinawa Association presents
Okinawa’s Traditional Culture: Past and Present
September 25, 2016 – January 8, 2017
East-West Center Gallery, Honolulu
Okinawa and Hawai‘i have a long history of exchange, with many local Hawai’i families originating from Okinawa. AYANUJI is a word used in ancient Okinawan poetry meaning “beautiful rainbow.” This exhibition aims to build a rainbow bridge between Okinawa and Hawai‘i by sharing both past traditions and present-day interpretations of Okinawan culture. Showcasing textiles, lacquerware, ceramics, carving, and glassware, traditional Uchinanchu culture is highlighted alongside contemporary expressions. This exhibition features works made by the faculty of Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts (OPUA), along with pieces borrowed from the local Hawai‘i community, including musical instruments.
Okinawa Prefecture is a sub-tropical island group in Japan, located where the Pacific Ocean meets the East China Sea. Through its trade with Southeast Asia and China, Okinawa developed its own distinctive culture from Japan during the period of Ryukyu Kingdom (15th -19th century). After the Pacific War (World War II) through 1972, Okinawa was ruled under United States’ military administration. Okinawan traditional arts, architecture, and customs reflect this complicated history.
East-West Center Gallery
John A. Burns Hall, 1601 East-West Road (corner Dole St. & East-West Rd.)
Hours: Weekdays: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; Sundays Noon-4:00 p.m.
Closed Saturdays and Oct. 10, Nov. 11, 24, Dec. 23, 25-26, 30, Jan. 1-2.
Visitor parking is managed by UH-Mānoa; parking fees may apply. Parking is normally free and ample on Sundays.
Free school and group tours available.
For further information: 808-944-7177
All in the EWC Gallery with free admission, unless otherwise noted
Sunday, September 25, 2:00–3:30 p.m.
Exhibition Gala Opening including reception and short dance performance by Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts. *Full dance and music performance to follow at 4:00 p.m. at UHM Orvis Auditorium.
Sunday, October 2, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Illustrated talk: “Okinawans in Hawai‘i” by Joyce Chinen, Director UHM Center for Okinawan Studies and Professor of Sociology, UH West O‘ahu.
Sunday, October 16, 3:00–4:00 p.m.
Dance: “Kumiwudui: The Legacy of Kin Ryosho” by Jimpu Kai USA, Cheryl Yoshie Nakasone, Master Instructor and Yukie Shiroma, Instructor. Local performers demonstrate and discuss aspects of this 18th century classical form of court dance theatre.
Saturday – Sunday, October 29-30
Hands-on Workshops by OPUA faculty in pottery, fabric weaving and dyeing. $10; no experience needed; reservations required – inquire for details.
Sunday, November 6, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Illustrated Talk: “Okinawan Language” by Stewart A. Curry, Instructor, UHM Dept. of East Asian Languages and Literature.
Sunday, November 13, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Illustrated talk: “The Okinawan Diaspora” By Robert Nakasone, Director, Okinawan Special Projects, East-West Center.
Sunday, December 4, 2:00–4:00 p.m.
Film: “Nabbie’s Love” Life in a small Okinawan community is depicted through the story of a local grandmother, her grandchildren, and a young Japanese visitor. Directed by Yuji Nakae. 1999, Japanese with English subtitles, 92 minutes.
Sunday, December 11, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Music: “Mimi-gusui: Life Sustenance through the Ears” talk story concert led by Norman Kaneshiro, Musical Director, Ukwanshin Kabudan Ryukyu Performing Arts Group.
Sunday, January 8, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Okinawan Music by President/Director Grant “Sandaa” Murata and members of the Afuso Ryu Koten Ongaku Kenkyu Choichi Kai USA.
This exhibition is made possible by generous support from The Hawaii Pacific Rim Society; Richard H. Cox; Merle A. Okawara; Paul Yonamine; Aqua-Aston Hospitality; Sony Hawaii Company; and Friends of Hawaii Charities, Inc.
The EWC Arts Program is supported by EWC Arts ‘Ohana members, Jean E. Rolles, Jackie Chan Foundation USA, and other generous donors.
Photos left to right:
YUSEI TABA CARVING A MASK, PHOTOGRAPHER: DAI TAKANO
FLOWER LINE, WOVEN SILK WATCHFACE, ARTIST: MIYAKO HANASHIRO
APPLYING PIGMENT TO BINGATA, 2014, COURTESY OF OPUA