In keeping with its mission of perpetuating Okinawan culture, the Hui O Laulima women’s group has awarded cultural grants to 10 individuals and organizations totaling $10,000. The recipients will use their grants to promote and expand the influence of the vibrant and colorful Okinawan culture throughout Hawai‘i.

Hui O Laulima is an active member of the Hawaii United Okinawa Association. The nonprofit group awards grants to individuals and organizations that promote and perpetuate the unique culture of Okinawa. “Each awardee demonstrated potential to promote and expand the influence of our vibrant and colorful Okinawan culture,” said Karen Fuse of the cultural grants committee.
The 2015 cultural grants were awarded to:

  • Afuso-ryu Choichi Kai Maui to fly their sanshin teacher to Maui once a month;
  • Chinagu Eisa Hawaii to bring professional trainers from Okinawa to help prepare the group for the 2016 Worldwide Eisa Festival in Okinawa;
  • Derek Shiroma to accompany his students to Okinawa to take their uta-sanshin certification tests;
  • Diane Kawamoto to travel to Okinawa to take a proficiency certification test in Okinawan koto;
  • Hui Okinawa Kobudo Taiko to offset expenses for activities and performances related to the group’s participation in the 2015 Okinawan Festival;
  • Kohala Okinawa Kenjin Kai to help bring Ukwanshin Kabudan and the Young Okinawans to Kohala to participate in the Häwï Jodo obon;
  • Maui Ryukyu Culture Group to help fly two instructors to Maui for formal lessons in all aspects of Okinawan culture;
  • Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Kohala to send Oahu RMD teachers to Kohala so they can continue teaching eisä drumming;
  • Sato Shankles to travel to Okinawa to obtain the Kyoshi Menkyo teaching certification in koto; and
  • Ukwanshin Kabudan to continue Okinawan cultural activities in Hilo and build a self-sufficient community of cultural practitioners.


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