GARDENA — On Thursday, Aug. 31, from 7 to 9 p.m., the Okinawa Association of America, Inc. (OAA) in Gardena invites the whole family to explore and try out traditional Ryūkyūan musical instruments.
This special edition of the organization’s monthly Nuchaashii Potluck Gathering will offer close-up access to the instruments in a casual, informal environment. (Note: This will not be a formal lesson.)
Space is limited and RSVP is required: http://tinyurl.com/nuchaashii2023, email@example.com, (310) 532-1929. Admission is free with one potluck dish (label common allergens such as nuts and shellfish). The event will also be online via Zoom, but the activities are best suited for in-person attendance.
The OAA’s annual events are some of the only places to see traditional and modern Ryūkyūan performing arts in Southern California. On the 31st, participants can get a closer look at the kutu/koto (13-stringed zither), sanba (three-piece castanets), and different types of teeku/taiko (drums). (Note: Sanshin is being withheld to provide more time to focus on the aforementioned instruments.)
In addition to the instruments, special guest Master Aiko Majikina of Majikina Honryu Aigen no Kai will show different types of Ryūkyūan dance garments and accessories.
This and subsequent events are part of the OAA’s mission of preserving, promoting, and perpetuating Okinawan culture by creating more opportunities for the community to experience Ryūkyūan performing arts and the beautifully crafted tools of the trade.
Started in 2017 by Executive Director Yuko Yamauchi, the Nuchaashii Potluck Gatherings invite OAA members and friends to meet, share food, and build fellowship. From April 2020, the get-togethers were hosted online via Zoom and became monthly respites during the peak years of the pandemic.
The OAA shifted to “hybrid” meetups in February 2023, bringing back the in-person potluck element while staying online for long-distance participants to connect. The “hybrid” gatherings take place every month on the last Thursday (subject to change or cancellation).
The OAA Center is located at 16500 S. Western Ave. in Gardena; the parking lot is accessible behind the buildings off of 165th Place (space is limited). The in-person event will take place in the Yamauchi Building on south end of the parking lot. For the online event, the Zoom link will be emailed to registrants on the day of (check the spam or promotions folder).
OAA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is dedicated to preserving and promoting Okinawan culture. Formed by first-generation Okinawan immigrants (Issei), the OAA has grown into a multi-generational organization that hosts numerous events throughout the year including cultural lectures, performances, social gatherings, and senior-
focused activities. The OAA was selected as a 2023 California Nonprofit of the Year by
Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, 66th District, and 2024 will mark its 115th anniversary as well as the OAA Center’s 25th anniversary. Facebook/Instagram @oaamensore