(Photo courtesy of Hui O Laulima)

Applications are currently being accepted for the Hawaii United Okinawa Association’s Hui O Laulima 2023 Cultural Grant. Hui O Laulima is a women’s organization that promotes Okinawan culture and seeks to uphold its spirit of “giving a helping hand.” The organization continues to perpetuate and preserve its culture by awarding grants to individuals and groups who share the same desire to serve. 

Criteria for grant recipients include: 

  • Interest in the study, perpetuation and promotion, including goodwill projects of Okinawan culture (music, dance, art or other forms of artistic expressions), language and history
  • Leadership ability
  • Community service
  • Financial need
  • Overall potential for success
  • Clarity of goal(s)
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals other than relatives

Deadline for submission is July 31, 2022. The application contains the complete list of the criteria for selection. All prospective grant projects/activities should take place from January through December 2023. Grants and scholarships have been awarded by Hui O Laulima since 1984, totaling about $214,000. Direct inquiries and/or requests for the Hui O Laulima application to Karen Fuse, committee chairperson, at (808) 735-4523,


Last month, Jake Shimabukuro and a few Uchinānchu friends performed at a sold-out Blue Note Hawaii kanikapila presented by the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology. The virtuoso played several solo numbers before being joined by his guest musicians.

Jake Shimabukuro and Gov. David Ige “work” the stage at Blue Note Hawaii. (Screenshot from the Blue Note Hawaii YouTube channel)

Singer-songwriter Brandon Ing sang an original song “Gachimayā – The Big Eater.” Ing is a Yonsei Okinawan also known for his “Let’s Sing Uchinaguchi” series on YouTube.

Uta-sanshin Master Grant “Masanduu” Murata, played a longtime favorite for Hawai‘i Okinawans – “Asadoya Yunta.” Shimabukuro joined him for “Mensore (Welcome)” — a song written and composed by Murata’s mentor, National Living Treasure of Japan Choichi Terukina.    

Another highlight of the show was an ‘ukulele duet by Shimabukuro and Hawai‘i’s Gov. David Ige. The duo worked the stage playing “Wipeout.” Finally, Shimabukuro played a soulful arrangement of “Shima Uta – Island Song” made popular by The Boom with friend and electric bassist Jackson Waldhoff. 

Since the live show at Blue Note sold out so quickly, it was also livestreamed at Square Barrels in downtown Honolulu and Sakana Grill in Kalihi. In the end, it was a memorable evening of good music, good friends and lots of “IIYASASA!”

For now, we wish the “Jake & Friends” tour safe travels as they share with Shimabukuro the spirit of aloha, finishing up their tour this summer in the United Kingdom. His latest album includes collaborations with: Jack Johnson with Paula Fuga, Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Loggins, Willie Nelson, Mette Midler, Ziggy Marley and more. 

For more information about Jake Shimabukuro, his tour and latest album, visit

OIST was founded by the Japanese government to contribute to science and technology worldwide, attract leading researchers from Japan and abroad to conduct high-quality research, advance the development of a world-class research hub, and nucleate a knowledge cluster that will catalyze technology transfer and industrial innovation in Okinawa. To learn more about OIST visit


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