Shouei Kina

February 29th comes once every four years but is also a date some in Okinawa may remember as the birthday of the late great singer and sanshin player Shouei Kina who was born on this day in 1920. After a long career in music he was finally given a lifetime achievement award by the Okinawan Prefectural Government just one month before his death in December 2009, though by that time he was too weak to attend the ceremony. When he was 83 and still performing regularly with his own minyo group I interviewed him for an article in the UK’s fRoots magazine which is on the Features page of the Power of Okinawa website:

He will be remembered not just as one of the all-time greats of Okinawan music but also as a lovely unassuming man who was immensely helpful and friendly to everyone in his own quiet way. Here are some photos:

The Shouei Kina Minyo Group in 2001

Father and son: Shouei and Shoukichi

Cover of the album Okinawa Minyo Nasakeuta Tokushu

A gathering to celebrate Shouei Kina's award in 2009

Explore posts in the same categories: Live in Okinawa, Okinawan Albums

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