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King kamehaha Hula Competition Ends in Color

By: Kotoko Chinen

Date Posted: 1999-12-10

Hundreds of People in Okinawa watched a fascinating Hawaiian dance spectacle during the very first King Kamehameha Hula Competition in Japan that took place in Ginowan City on Tuesday, November 30th. In spite of the fact that the competition was held during the daytime on a weekday, hundreds of Hula fans took their time to go and appreciate the Hawaiian traditional dance.

Following a colorful opening ceremony, 15 hula dance teams from all over Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, other main island places and, of course, Okinawa), presented the results of their hard practice and utmost efforts to hundreds of excited people in the audience and three strict judges from the birthplace of Hula dance, Hawaii.

Each team wore beautiful original costumes of hibiscus red, sky blue, and sand white colors, with sweet smelling lei hanging around their necks. The Okinawa Hula dance troupe, Halau Hula O Kalakaua performed just before the last group. Eleven Okinawa contestants appeared on the stage in their blue and white Hawaiian costumes, and beautiful white flowers on their hair. They danced to the tune of the popular song “Pua Loke”.

At the end of the competition, the troupes’ clean appearance and decent attitudes of contestants were judged as well as the performance skills. The winning tickets for the main competition, which will be held in Hawaii next June went to the dancers from Hula Studio Manuwai of the Wahine Group, (which has more than three females around 14 years old) and Halau Hula Kamamo O pohai Kalima of the Kupuna Group (counting more than three females over the age of 45). The second and third prizes also went to the following contestants:

- 2nd Prizes: Hula Halau Ka nani Aloha (Wahine Group), Hula halau KAHULA O HAWAII (Kupuna Group).

- 3rd Prizes: Hawaii Hula Studio (Wahine Group), Kaulana kawashima Hula Studio (Kupuna Group). At the end of the competiton, Kyouichi Okutani, the Japan promoter of the event, shared the committee’s desire for future Hula competitions in Japan. “In the year 2000, Hawaii will host the 100th anniversary celebrations of Okinawan emigrants to Hawaii. As you can see, Okinawa has deep connection with Hawaii. We of the King kamehameha Hula Competition in Japan Committee hope that Okinawa one day becomes the host of the Hula competition in Japan. From Okinawa, we hope that Hula dance spreads to the whole country.”

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