Theme song for the 5th Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival selected

Theme song for the 5th Worldwide <em>Uchinanchu</em> Festival selected

Katsushi Arakaki (on the right), who wrote the music and lyrics of Nirai no kanata, the theme song for the 5th Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival and singer Natchy at the Kenmin Hiroba in Naha City on June 29.


June 30, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

Nirai no Kanata (Beyond Nirai) was selected as the theme song for the 5th Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival, which is scheduled to be held over four days from October 13.
Composer Katsushi Arakaki wrote the music and lyrics and Natchy (her real name is Nanami Yamada, a second year student at Okinawa Higashi Junior High School in Okinawa City) sings the song.
A press conference and award ceremony for the selection of the theme song was held at the Kenmin Hiroba in Naha on June 29. Natchy gave it her all when she sang at the ceremony.

A total of 18 entries for the theme song were received from both home and abroad.
Hidenobu Chinen, the head of the Executive Committee for the festival, delivered a congratulatory speech, saying that Nirai no Kanata was head and shoulders above all the other entries.
Arakaki said, “Uchinanchu went abroad in search of their dreams and hopes. I wrote this song in the hope that the feeling for Okinawa from people in foreign countries and that of overseas immigrants’ for Okinawa could be brought together, giving a tremendous boost to the festival.”
Natchy said, “I would like to sing this song to help convey all that is good about Okinawa.”

The lyrics of the song say, “Echo the soul of this beautiful island like a smile taught by a red flower. Bring a prayer from this beautiful island. Beyond Nirai, a prayer for peace for all eternity.”

Nirai is the place beyond the oceans which ancient Okinawan people believed was the world of gods.

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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