2015 / Okinawan koto school to celebrate its 50th anniversary with artists from Okinawa and Hawaii, Nov. 28

Kastuko Teruya (left) on koto and Choichi Terukina on sanshin (Courtesy of Koyokai)

Kastuko Teruya (left) on koto and Choichi Terukina on sanshin (Courtesy of Koyokai)

Classical Okinawan koto school Ryukyu Sokyoku Koyokai will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their establishment as the Los Angeles Branch by presenting the concert entitled “Hibiki Wataru” (The Journey of Sound) on Saturday, Nov. 28 at 2:00 pm at the James Armstrong Theatre in Torrance.

Near 100 artists from Los Angeles, Okinawa, and Hawaii will perform koto, sanshin, kucho (a bowed instrument), fwanso (a transverse flute), and taiko.

Okinawan traditional dancers will accompany select pieces of music.

This program provides an opportunity for Los Angeles audiences to see 17 master musicians and dancers traveling from Okinawa including Choichi Terukina, a National Living Treasure of Japan.

Special guest artists from Hawaii will also join local musicians.

Ritsuko Ashimine, a celebrated journalist and personality in Okinawa, will co-emcee the event with Joseph Jones of San Diego who is an Okinawan dancer of the Tamagusuku Ryu Kansen- Kai Yonamine Keiko Ryubu Dojo.

In addition to music and dance, there will be a fashion show featuring traditional costumes from the Ryukyu Kingdom.

The Koyokai Los Anagels Branch was established in 1964 under the guidance of Koyokai’s then president Miyo Miyagi and then vice president Sachiko Kakazu to preserve and perpetuate classical koto music of Okinawa.

Over the years, the Koyokai Los Angeles Branch membership has grown to over 50 koto musicians with several musicians achieving the status of kyoshi (teaching certification) and 7 achieving the highest rank of shihan (master certification).

Currently the Koyokai Los Angeles Branch has been under the leadership of Mem. Katsuko Teruya who has more than 50 years of teaching and performance experience in Hawaii and Los Angeles.

Advance tickets are $30. To purchase tickets, contact Koyokai members at LAKoyokai@gmail.com  or the Okinawa Association of America at (310) 532-1929. There will be a limited number of tickets sold at the door for $35. For more information, visit facebook.com/LAKoyokai.