On September 4th at the Hawaii Okinawa Festival the Natsumero Charity Concert was held. Though the flier stated that doors opened at 4:30pm, me and my friends came and hour early for seats. However, we were very fortunate to have come so early as the line quickly backed up, even into the parking lot! When the time came for the doors to open, we filed in and received our delicious mini bento prepared by the Ala Hawaii Kitchen staff. Me and my friends took our seats and awaited the exciting fashion variety show to be put on by Ms. Yamaguchi Mitsuko and the exciting Natsumero concert afterwards.
When it became for the show to start, Ms. Ura Keiko and Mr. Cyrus Tamashiro came out to greet the audience and give a brief layout of what would be in store for us that night. Then the music started and I was transported to beautiful Okinawa. First came the appearance of the king and queen of Ryukyu and their royal procession.
When I first gazed at the outfits that the royal family cast worn, it blew me away. The vibrant colors and the symbiotic relationship of colors between each outfit made each outfit unique and eye-pleasing. Group after group came out to showcase Ms. Yamuchi’s Ryu-kyu inspired outfits. “I wouldn’t mind wearing one myself!" I thought as every style imaginable came to be showcased center stage: dresses, suits, elegant every-day wear, even aloha-like t-shirts were showcased that night.
This was not only a fashion show, but also a variety show and thus other performances came onto the center stage after the procession such as karate and even hula. Each performance clearly stunned the audience with their spectacular performances.
At the end of the variety show, both Ms. Ura and Mr. Tamashiro came out to thank Ms. Yamauchi for the spectacular variety show that she put on. Thus concluded the variety show and onto a short intermission before the Natsumero concert.
For those who do not know, “natsumero” or (懐メロ) is an abbreviated form of “natsukashii melody" or (懐かしいメロディー). “Natsukashii” in Japanese means nostalgic or having an air of nostalgia. The songs to be performed at the concert that day were songs of the good old days when many popular Japanese songs were also the theme songs of the movies that held the same name. “Shina no Yoru" (支那の夜), “Hawaii no Yoru" (ハワイの夜) and “Tabi no Yokaze" (旅の夜風) just to name a few.
As the curtain was raised Ms. Ura stated that she would be the narrator for our concert tonight and told everyone to enjoy themselves. Then, a screen came down to project the movie associated with the song that was being sung. The first sung sang was “Hawaii no Yoru" and already I knew that everyone was pleased at seeing both the lyrics and the movie on the projector screen. I was able to hear everyone singing along and reminiscing of those bygone days. As each singer came on stage, there was grand applause. Each song sung that night was a classic and I could hear everyone around me singing along with almost every song. Once the performances were finished, all of the singing participants came out to sing one last song that was a hit not only in Japan, but also in Hawaii “Wakare no Isochidori" (別れの磯千鳥)
Finally, as an act of goodwill and to keep the bridge concocted between Okinawa and Hawaii, “Aloha O’e'" was sung as the very final number. As the concert finished, I could hear the applause and cheering as the curtain came to a close. Everyone enjoyed themselves, just as Ms. Ura predicted.