Shokichi Kina may not be a well-known name in China, but the song Hana he wrote in 1980, sung by Hong Kong singer Emil Chou and renamed Blooming Flowers in the Hearts of All, enjoyed great popularity in the country in the early 1990s.
Shokichi Kina is to Okinawan music what Bob Marley was to reggae: The Man.
On Sept 6, the man and his band will perform at the Haidian Theater and treat local fans to the original version of his hit, Hana. "It's great to perform in Beijing in the Olympic summer. I was impressed by the ancient part of the Opening Ceremony and the message of peace expressed in the show. My music also celebrates peace," he says.
Kina is very happy to know that Hana is popular in China and says, "My interpretation would be different from what you hear in Chinese, but hope you will enjoy it too."
For the concert, Kina and his band will play the electric guitar, bass, keyboard and traditional Okinawan instruments. He will also demonstrate the folk dance Eisa which is done while offering prayers to one's ancestors.
Born in Okinawa in 1948, Kina grew up listening to the sound of sanshin played by his father, Shoei, a master of Okinawan music. He started to compose in high school and formed the band Champloose in 1966 when he entered university. They first became known in 1972 when they scored a hit with Haisai Ojisan (Hey Man). In 1976, Kina reformed the band and gradually established his style, a unique combination of rock and Okinawan folk. The group released their debut album in 1977 and gave a concert at Tokyo's Nakano Sun Plaza that December, their first concert outside Okinawa.
In 1980, Kina and Champloose released Blood Line, one of the best ethnic/rock fusion albums ever to come out of Japan. The album included the heartbreakingly beautiful slide-guitar solo on Hana.
Time: 7:30 pm, Sept 6
Place: No 84 Huangzhuang Haidian Road, Haidian District
By Chen Jie