Okinawans form committee to revitalize Yokohama through new J-drama, Chimudondon

Okinawans form committee to revitalize Yokohama through new J-drama, Chimudondon

The Tsurumi Yokohama Chimudondon Project Executive Committee Chairman Yuta Shimozato (front row, sixth from right) and project members pose for a photo at the Okitsuru Kaikan in Tsurumi Ward, Yokohama City, on December 1.

December 2, 2021 Ryukyu Shimpo

By Sakae Toiyama


The Japanese public broadcaster NHK’s newest asadora (morning drama) series Chimudondon (Okinawan for ‘racing heart’) will air next spring. In response, the municipality of Tsurumi Ward in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture (where the drama’s story is set) has joined forces with the ward’s market and Okinawa Kenjinkai (Okinawan association) to launch the “Tsurumi Yokohama Chimudondon Project.” The project’s executive committee was formed on December 1 and is tasked with promoting Tsurumi Ward while leveraging exposure the national TV series will bring. The committee held its first general meeting at the Okinawa Kenjinkai event hall, Okitsuru Kaikan, in Tsurumi the same day to approve its official logo and the project executive summary.


There was also a meet and greet for project members who will be working with the executive committee members.


Okinawa Bussan Center’s president and Naha City-native Yuta Shimozato was appointed chair of the executive committee. He commented, “The drama series will push Tsurumi into the national spotlight. I look forward to collaborating with everyone to promote Tsurumi and Okinawa.”


The Tsurumi Chimudondon Project’s basic concept is: “Turn Chimudondon fans into Tsurumi Ward fans.” The goal is to revitalize the ward by increasing its recognition through local events linked to the TV series. The executive committee includes members of the Okinawa Kenjinkai; a non-profit organization that supports Japanese Americans; and the ward’s municipal association. Meanwhile, project members come from 26 local companies and organizations, such as JR Tsurumi Station, Keikyu Electric Railway, Yokohama Nakadori Post Office, Kanagawa Toyota Motor Co., and Kanagawa Shimbun.


The official logo of the executive committee includes the inscription: “Tsurumi Yokohama will make your heart race (chimudondon)”, and features designs of the shisa-dog to symbolize Okinawan culture; the samba to symbolize South American culture; and the mascot of Tsurumi Ward. As its next step, the committee plans to create a website, a social media presence, and a PR video.


(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)


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