Japanese Chamber of Commerce Annual Shinnen Enkai 2013

On January 5, natori and students of HDAHF continued their long tradition of helping the Japanese Chamber of Commerce throw their annual Shinnen Enkai – New Year’s Banquet. Three students performed dances as part of the banquet dining entertainment, followed by the Shoko Shiranami Gonin Otoko kabuki play, staring members of the Chamber. Numerous HDAHF natori prepared costumes, props, and wigs, applied theatrical make up, dressed performers, and helped break it all down again to be put back into storage. Domo arigato gozaimasu everyone for putting in such a long day!!

Spring Taisai 2012

HDAHF perfomed at Kotohira Jinsha’s annual Spring Thanksgiving or Taisai festival on April 15, 2012. Hanayagi Mitsujyuro and Jill M. danced for the guests and Kineya Sakio sang while Kineya Samei accompanied him in the shamisen. This year, the Kotohira Jinsha also gave an education scholarship to our own Bryson G. as well as to three other university students. This is the first year they have offered scholarships! Domo arigatogozaimasu!

New Year’s ‘Ohana Festival 2012

As part of its New Year’s tradition, the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai’i rang in 2012 with its annual New Year’s ‘Ohana Festival on Sunday, January 8, 2012 . This fun-filled event featured food, crafts, entertainment and cultural demonstrations of the people who make up this island state. HDAHF performed a selection of dances and one shamisen piece!


Introducing… Hanayagi Mitsujyuro!

Over the winter break, Bryson (Teruo) Goda traveled to the Hanayagi headquarters in Tokyo, Japan to take his natori (master performer) examination. He returned home last week as….Hanayagi Mitsujyuro!!!!!! Omedetou gozaimasu to Mitsujyuro-sensei and to his parents, Linda and Ben Goda!!!! We are all so very proud of our newest Hanayagi natori!

Test_sign Mitsujyuro

Shichigosan Blessing

MAHALO to the natoris (Itsue-sensei, Mikami-sensei, Mitsuai-sensei, Mistuyasu-senseiMitsunayo-sensei, Mitsuemi-sensei, Mitsuasa-sensei), and also to our students (Teruo, Stacie, Erika, Bethany, Akemi) for assisting at Kotohira Jinsha’s Shichigosan from Oct. 17 – Nov. 20. On the last day of Shichigosan, Reverend Takizawa expressed his appreciation to all of the Hanayagi natoris and students, and Shinken Naitoh, President of the Board of Directors, presented our school with $2000. Domo arigato gozaumasu to Reverend Takizawa and Kotohira Jinsha for their very generous donation to us!!

Daijingu Temple of Hawaii

On Sept. 11, 2011, Hisamatsu Akemi (odori), Kineya Sakio-sensei (shamisen), and Hanayagi Mitsutamae-sensei represented HDAHF at the Daijingu Temple of Hawaii’s Autumn Festival service in Honolulu.

Chinowa/Pet Blessing 2010

On June 6th, Kotohira Jinsha had it’s annual Pet Blessing and Chinowa Festival. Since the Jinsha has so many ties to us, many HDAHF teachers and students were on hand to help out with preparations, blessings, and selling omamori, or charms 🙂 We saw lots of cute dogs and cats, plus some birds, bunnies, hamsters, lizards, and even a (plush) unicorn! After getting blessed, visitors could not only buy refreshments for themselves but they also could pick up things like chicken flavored shave ice for their four-footed friends.

The Shamisen Experience

On Saturday, August 22, Hanayagi Dancing Academy – Hawaii Foundation was honored to present ‘The Shamisen Experience,’ featuring Grand Master Kineya Sakichi VII along with top artists from the Kineya School of Nagauta and Shamisen Japan and HDAHF students. Most pieces were classical but there was also a special Hawaiian-Japanese fusion piece in honor of “our host culture.”

The shamisen is a traditional Japanese three-string instrument with a slender, un-fretted neck and a rounded rectangular body covered with skin to amplify the sound of the strings. Its three strings though traditionally made of silk are most often now made of nylon. The lowest string passes over a small hump at the ‘nut’ end creating a characteristic buzz known as sawari, much like the jawari sound of a sitar. One coaxes music from the shamisen with a large weighted plectrum called a bachi. More photos here.

Welcome the Year of the Rat

Congratulations Hanayagi Mitsuaki-shisho!

Mitsuaki-shisho underwent an intense examination for her shihan (Master Instructor) license on December 5 and 6 at Hanayagi headquarters in Tokyo.

Oshisho-san was tested on Hokushu and Musume Dojoji, two classic dances which require a vast array of dance techniques. In addition
to the dance test, a written examination was given.

The passing of a legend – Hanayagi Jusuke III

The Hanayagi Dancing Academy- Hawaii Foundation would like to extend our deepest condolences on the passing of our Headmaster (Iemoto), Hanayagi Jusuke III on May 23, 2007 at 11:33 am. She was 72 years old.

Thousands of students and friends attended Iemoto-san’s funeral on June 28, at the Tsukiji Hongwanji. At the funeral, Chief Mourner, Hanayagi Yoshijiro V announced that he will be assuming the name of Hanayagi Jusuke IV and succeeding his cousin as Iemoto of the Hanayagi Ryu school of dance. A day before the funeral, on June 27, the Shumei Hiro recital was held for Hanayagi Yoshijiro V, Hanayagi Sosuke, and Hanayagi Asuka. Hanayagi Yoshijiro V assumed the name Hanayagi Kanou, Hanayagi Sosuke succeeded him as Yoshijiro VI and Hanayagi Asuka became Hanayagi Tsuru.

The kai was a spectacular event. The curtains opened to reveal 64 women in matching montsuki and obi from the Nagauta association, singing and playing “Ayatsuri Sambaso.” The unusual dance, mimicking Bunraku puppets, featured Jusuke IV as Okina , Asuka as Chitose, Yoshijiro VI as Sambaso and Miyake Ukon as koken.

The second number was “Hana no Dan” featuring Fujima Murasaki as Sachiko, Hanayagi Sumi as Yukiko and Hanayagi Tsuru as Taeko.

The finale was a fantastic production entitled “Ibaragi.” Ichikawa Danjuro danced the part of Watanabe no Tsuna and Jusuke VI, the role of the ogre, Ibaragi doji, who later appears as the hag, Mashiba.

The 76 year-old Hanayagi Yoshijiro V’s intentions were to retire and retreat from the limelight after naming his successor, Yoshijiro VI.

In a sad but phenomenal turn of events, Yoshijiro V will now become Iemoto, a life far from the quiet retirement he had dreamed of. He laments that he was Hanayagi Kanou for one day, but has awakened a new commitment and mission as Iemoto to preserve and perpetuate the ideals of classical Japanese dance and Japanese culture for present and future generations.

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