Ryukyu Koto Koyo Kai LA Branch celebrates 50th anniversary

Ryukyu Koto Koyo Kai LA Branch celebrates 50th anniversary

On November 28 at Armstrong Theater in Torrance City, Ryukyu Sokyokyu Koyokai Los Angeles Branch celebrated its 50th anniversary with a stage performance.


December 14, 2015 Sadao Tome, Ryukyu Shimpo Correspondent

On November 28 at the Armstrong Theater in Torrance City, the USA, the Ryukyu Koto Koyo Kai Los Angeles Branch held its 50th anniversary ceremony performance. Approximately 400 people attended and enjoyed the performance with its theme of “The Journey of Sound.”

Choichi Terukina, a Japanese Living National Treasure and advisor of Ryukyu Koten Afuso Ryu Ongaku Kenkyu Gensei Kai, Hiroko Asato, advisor of Koyo Kai, Grand Master Kazuko Yamada, and 14 leading members traveled from Okinawa and gave performances. With the members of the LA Branch, they performed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the LA Branch in appreciation for the members’ efforts to master koto.

The Koyo Kai LA Branch was established in 1964 as the Ryukyu Sokyoku Koyo Kai. In 2004, they changed the name to the current one. Under the guidance of the branch’s Chief Teruya, the branch expanded to provide classes in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Mexico, and Texas. Approximately 20 musicians have achieved shihan (master) and kyoshi (teacher) certification.

The anniversary program provided an ensemble of sanshin and koto along with performances of Yuratiku Bushi, and Gajadefu Bushi with dances. Thirteen koto musicians performed Watari Zou and Aha Bushi in unison. After that, came Odori Kwadisa, Nakazato Bushi, Hatoma Bushi, and Amakawa Bushi. The most impressive performance was Nakafu Bushi, courtesy of Terukina’s sanshin and Teruya’s koto. The rare collaboration of the two masters attracted the audience’s attention.

After an intermission, Ryukyu Sokyoku Grand Master Yamada awarded Tamiko Akamine and Tomio Prehoda with Shinjin sho, the Newcomers’ Award of the Ryukyu Classical Performing Arts Competition, and Emiko Takushi with Yushu sho, Award of Excellence. Terukina awarded Tomio Prehoda with Shinjin sho for sanshin.

The program included a fashion show of costumes from the Ryukyu Kingdom era that also caught the attention of the audience.

(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana) 

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