Uchinanchu, Jan-Feb 2016: “Ayano Uema, a well-known singer from Gushikawa, Okinawa, paid a surprise visit to HOC to view the Peace Messages Exhibit. She treated everyone present to a beautiful and most appropriate song about Himeyuri. Ayano hopes to return to Hawaii and perform at the Okinawan Festival.”
Uema Ayano, “Okinawan Soul,” was here, in Hawaii, a month ago, and I missed it. I can’t believe it. Hopefully she’ll return to perform at the 2016 Okinawan Festival September 3-4. If I make it to the 2016 Taikai, October 26-30, I hope she’s going to be one of the performers. If you haven’t heard her play the sanshin and sing, then you’re in for a surprise. She has a style that will reach deep into your Okinawan soul.
I began this blog, Liuchiuan, after accidentally stumbling on one of her videos on YouTube. My article about her, “Uema Ayano (上間綾乃): Okinawan Soul,” was the first post in this blog on June 21, 2013. She made the Okinawan spirit, expressed in minyo, come alive for me, and that ignited an interest in Okinawan music, culture, history, politics, sports, food, etc.
If you’re not familiar with her songs, make the time to listen to some of her performances captured in YouTube videos. Do a search on “Uema Ayano.” In my post, I’ve embedded a number of videos that I really like.