Hui O Laulima has awarded its 2018 cultural grants to 11 organizations, totaling $13,000. The nonprofit women’s organization, which is an active member of the Hawaii United Okinawa Association, awards grants annually to individuals and organizations that promote and perpetuate the unique culture of Okinawa throughout Hawai‘i.

Each awardee must demonstrate the potential to promote and expand the influence of the vibrant and colorful Okinawan culture. This year’s recipients are:

• Afuso-ryu Choichi Kai Maui to assist with airfare for Kenton Odo-Sensei to travel to Maui to teach monthly uta-sanshin (singing while playing sanshin) classes;

• Hilo Okinawan Cultural Club to assist with airfare for Tsuruko Oshiro-Sensei from Okinawa to teach new dances and conduct a workshop;

• Jimpu Kai Maui to assist with Cheryl Nakasone-Sensei’s airfare for monthly dance classes;

• Kauai Sanshin Club to assist with Grant Murata-Sensei’s monthly airfare to Kaua‘i to teach, and for historian supplies/video equipment for training;

• Kohala Okinawa Kenjin Kai to assist with airfare for Ukwanshin Kabudan and Young Okinawans of Hawai‘i to travel to the annual Hawi Jodo Mission Eisa Obon;

• Maui Okinawa Sanshin to assist with airfare for Keith Nakaganeku-Sensei to travel from O‘ahu to Maui to teach monthly sanshin classes;

• Maui Ryukyu Culture Group to assist with airfare for Norman Kaneshiro-Sensei and Eric Wada-Sensei to teach classes in sanshin, kücho, eisa taiko, language, history, shishimai dancing and cuisine;

• Nomura Ryu Ongaku Kyo Kai Hawaii Shibu to assist with Keith Nakaganeku-Sensei’s airfare to teach monthly uta-sanshin class on the Big Island;

• Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii to assist with expenses for the school’s July 24 benefit concert for HUOA;

• Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Kohala/Waimea to assist with the O‘ahu instructors’ airfare and to assist with expenses related to the school’s 10th anniversary concert; and

• Ukwanshin Kabudan to help develop a website dedicated to preserving and promoting native Ryukyuan languages.

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