Ten sanshin players from the Kauai Sanshin Club left Thursday to perform with the Hawaii sanshin group at the National Theater in Tokyo, Japan June 8.
The sanshin translates to “three stings.” An Okinawa three-stringed instrument was the inspiration for the more familiar Japanese shamisen. The sanshin is the core of traditional Okinawa music.
Grant Murata, a sanshin sensei from Honolulu, said the performance will be for a Japanese National Living Treasure in sanshin, Choichi Terukina, who has a school in Hawaii.
“This is quite an honor,” Murata said. “The National Theater in Tokyo is operated by the Japan government, and one never gets in on a first request. It usually takes about three or four attempts before one gets accepted to perform.”
Alan Hiranaka said the Kauai Sanshin Club members will be joining other sanshin players from Honolulu, Maui and Los Angeles in journeying to Japan for the performance. Joining Hiranaka on the tour is his daughter Rhandi, Keith Arakaki, Herbert Honjo, Lorene Sit, Maile Taniguchi, Charlyn Nakamine, Calvin Umetsu, Thomas Oi and Paige Javier.