Miyazawa begins 100-year project planting kuroki for sanshin

Miyazawa begins 100-year project planting <em>kuroki</em> for <em>sanshin</em>

On July 16, at Yomitan Village Office, Kazufumi Miyazawa (center) talked about the 100-year Project to create a forest of kuroki.

July 19, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

The 100-year Project to create a forest of kuroki in Yomitan has started with the aim of planting young trees of ebony or kuroki for sanshin on an ongoing basis beyond the current generation. The project aims to produce sanshin using local Okinawan materials because in recent years many sanshin are made using imported ebony. On July 16, Kazufumi Miyazawa, the honorary chairman of the organizing committee, vocalist of the band The Boom, and Chairperson Denjitsu Ishimine, who is also the mayor of Yomitan, held a press conference at the Yomitan Village Office.

Miyazawa proposed the project to give something back to Okinawa, as this year marks the 20th anniversary of his hit song Shimauta, which was set in Okinawa. “We would like to support this project by holding events and planting trees. At times we may struggle along the way, but I believe that we can overcome them if we think of what things might be like 100 years from now,” he said.

The project’s target year of 2108 marks the 200th anniversary year of municipal government being set up in Yomitan. Mayor Ishimine said, “I hope that this forest of kuroki will grow well. We hope that many children will join us so we can hand on these activities to future generations.”

Miyazawa has been making commemorative CDs by recording the music of Okinawan folk singers who are now growing old. The organizing committee intends to establish a fund to support the project and to cooperate with children attending local sanshin classes. The committee is seeking to recruit supporters for the project.

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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