Okinawa, Okinawa Memorial Peace Concert, Irei no Hi, Okinawa, Japan, NYC, CRS (Center for Remembering and Sharing), Sonny Ochiai, sanshin, Rino, Naomi Mizoguchi, TK Nakagaki, peace

Okinawa Memorial Peace Concert at CRS

Okinawa Memorial Peace Concert

Saturday, June 22 from 3:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.

CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing) – 123 4th Avenue (between 12th and 13th Streets), 2nd Floor

Admision: $25 in advance/$30 at the door/$20 seniors/$15 students

CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing) will observe Okinawa Memorial Day, or Irei no Hi (慰霊の日), which means “the day to console the dead.” Okinawa Goodwill Ambassador Sonny Ochiai and Rino will perform Okinawan and Japanese folk/traditional music, accompanied by guitarist Hiroshi Kono and drummer Jun Nakanishi. Their opening act will be musicians Yoshiko ♡ and Naomi Mizuguchi. CRS Director Christopher Pelham and the Rev. Dr. T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki of the Heiwa Peace and Reconciliation Foundation of New York Ltd. will offer an opening prayer for peace.

Sonny Ochiai is a certified teacher of the Society for the Preservation of the Nomura School of Ryukyuan Classical Music based in Okinawa. The Okinawa Times awarded him the “Apex Award” in 2010. As an Okinawa Goodwill Ambassador certified by the Governor of Okinawa, he continues to promote Okinawa and its culture through various festivals and ethnic events in the New York area.

Rino (vocals and sanshin) is a performer of drama and music, particularly for peace. She learned drama at the United Performer’s Studio, led by Yoko Narahashi, and studied traditional folk songs from Ryushu Kubota of the Japan Folk Song Association.

Naomi Mizoguchi fell in love with Okinawan music when she first went to a Ryukyu Festival in the 1990s. After two decades, she finally started learning the sanshin (Okinawan three-stringed instrument) from Sonny Ochiai as well as the fansoo (Okinawan transverse flute) from Earl Ikeda. A filmmaker, she has directed and edited more than 300 video programs for commercial companies as well as community organizations. Her first documentary feature film is about the Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan, which premiered in 2018.

Rev. Dr. T. Kenjitsu “TK” Nakagaki is the head resident minister of New York Buddhist Church — Jodoshinshu (Shin Buddhist) Temple; chairperson of the Eastern District Buddhist Ministers Associations of BCA; former president of the Buddhist Council of New York; former UCM Buddhist Chaplain at Columbia University; Board of Trustee of the Institute of Buddhist Studies; adviser of American Buddhist Study Center; and is active in Interfaith Circles such as the Interfaith Center of New York (vice chair), The Interfaith Alliance (board), Religions for Peace (board), Japanese American Lions Club (honorary advisor), and Asian & Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS (religious advisor). He is the author of several books, including New York Bozu Indo o Aruku. He has organized an Interfaith Peace ceremony to commemorate the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki every year since 1994 and the Annual Floating Lanterns Ceremony to commemorate 9/11 since 2002.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit CRS’s website or call CRS at 212-677-8621.