Ryukyu Sokyoku Koyo Kai Hawaii Shibu installed its new officers at a dinner banquet on Jan. 28 at the Pagoda Restaurant. The Koyo Kai is made up of six Okinawan koto schools on O‘ahu.
The organization recognized two koto sensei who recently retired — Diane Hatsuko Kaya-Sensei and Chieko Miyasato-Sensei — and thanked them for their many years of teaching.
After many years of leading the Koyo Kai, Jane Tamae Kaneshiro-Sensei of the Jane Kaneshiro Sozan Kai and Bonnie Miyashiro-Sensei of the Miyashiro Soho Kai turned over the leadership of the Koyo Kai to longtime koto students Derek Fujio and Sara Nakatsu, both of whom are yonsei. Fujio will serve as president and Nakatsu as vice president.
Serving with Fujio and Nakatsu are: Roberta Umeno, English secretary; Sato Shankles, Japanese secretary; Sharon Shimabukuro, treasurer; Kazumi Iho, assistant treasurer and Sadayo Tamaki, auditor. Supporting the officers as advisors, or sodanyaku, will be Jane Kaneshiro, Bonnie Miyashiro, Sharon Toma, Yoneko Yamashiro Edmonson and Yasuko Arakawa. The various koto schools will be represented by Sunny Tominaga, Grace Carmichael, Kathy Shigemura, Karen Sugikawa, Kaye Ikeda and Diane Kawamoto. The officers and advisors were installed by Courtney Takara, 2018 president of the Hawaii United Okinawa Association.
In his message, Fujio noted that he is the youngest person to serve as Koyo Kai president “in a world full of change.” “I was fortunate to grow up and play along with the great masters,” he said, adding that he plans to draw on those experiences. He said the Koyo Kai needs to share the music with a new generation of Okinawan students.
Fujio and Nakatsu then treated the audience to two koto numbers — “Kajadifu” and “Guin Bushi.”
The Ryukyu Sokyoku Koyo Kai Hawaii Shibu is made up of the Jane Kaneshiro Sozan Kai, Miyashiro Soho Kai, Toma Toyoko Sokyoku Kai, Yamashiro Yoneko Sokyoku Kenkyu Kai, Yasuko Arakawa Aki no Kai and the Sunny Tominaga Sokyoku Sanyuukai.