Shoukichi Kina at Chakra

Last Saturday I went to Chakra, the ‘live house’ of Shoukichi Kina and his band Champloose, which is on Naha’s Kokusai-dori. Kina and his band used to play here almost nightly but since becoming a politician his appearances have been limited. The recent election defeat does not seem to have dampened his spirits on stage, however, and he put in a typically passionate performance last week.

Shoukichi Kina on stage at Chakra

As expected, the set relied heavily on the usual old favourites, and there were no new songs, but the audience were on their feet for much of the time and Kina showed that he has lost none of his charismatic presence and the ability to interpret a song with enormous verve and skill. Among the highlights of a life-affirming show was the opening song ‘Ai wa Watashi no Mune Naka’ (co-written with The Boom’s Kazufumi Miyazawa) and a tremendous performance of the great early song ‘Agarizachi’.

Kina & Champloose at Chakra last week

Kina’s former photographer Heiko Junge (see previous posts) was back in Okinawa for a few days and went with me to Chakra where he was reunited with Kina. He also took these photos.

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2 Comments on “Shoukichi Kina at Chakra”

  1. toranosuke Says:

    Very cool. I went to Chakra the one weekend I was in Okinawa, and had a fantastic time, although I was disappointed that Kina Shôkichi wasn’t there. His nieces and nephew (if I understand correctly that that’s who they were) were great.

    I’m curious, though, what you think about places like Chakra and the other shimauta live music bars on Kokusai-dôri. What kind of people tend to go to these bars? Is it mostly tourists? Do the locals go, or do they stay away?

    The more important question that derives from that is, how authentic are these bars? Of course they’re authentic in that they exist, and they’re authentic that it’s the real actual Kina Keiko & family who’s performing. But, are they like hula dances at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, or a better example might be the performances at the Polynesian Cultural Center here on Oahu, performed purely/primarily for the purposes of constructing a tourist experience, while the locals go elsewhere to hear music?


    • Kina’s sister Sachiko is still a member of Champloose. His sister Keiko now runs her own shimauta bar on Kokusai-dori where she sings with her son Eddie and granddaughters Masae and Stephanie. There’s no simple answer to your general question about the shimauta live bars on Kokusai-dori. It depends on the bar and some of them no doubt provide music just as an extra entertainment experience for tourists. However, in the case of the better known ones such as Kina’s Chakra and China’s Shimauta, you will still be able to listen to very ‘authentic’ music from some of the very best musicians, such as the performance by Kina and Champloose at Chakra last Saturday. Kina also has his ‘locals’ or fans and friends who regularly attend, though it can be an expensive night out.


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