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Himawari at UH Hilo Theater Oct. 19

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Date: Saturday, October 5, 2002
Contact: Larry Joseph, (808) 933-0881

For Immediate Release

Himawari members (L-R): (PJ Hirabayashi, Yumi Ishihara, Wisa Uemura, Chieko Kojima, Yoko Fujimoto and Mitsue Kinjo)

The University of Hawai'i at Hilo Theatre presents a special collaboration of San Jose Taiko and Japan's Hanayui in a concert of taiko drumming, dance and song entitled "Himawari (Sunflower)" on Saturday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m. Himawari (Sunflower) premieres the union of six women artists in a unique collaboration where cultural boundaries and aesthetic sensibilities are shared and tested. The six women of Himawari include three members of San Jose Taiko (PJ Hirabayashi, Yumi Ishihara and Wisa Uemura) and three members of Hanayui (Chieko Kojima, Yoko Fujimoto and Mitsue Kinjo). The project name---Himawari (the Japanese word for sunflower) was selected for the sunflower's strength in character for reaching and following the sun, a symbol of power, energy, clarity, and knowledge, and a source for nurturing and sustaining life.

San Jose Taiko brings the power of the taiko and movement and Hanayui brings expertise of Japanese dance and song. Over the past five years both groups have been creatively exploring their common roots and new offshoots of their Japanese ancestry through music and dance---San Jose Taiko coming from the Japanese American community in San Jose, California, and Hanayui coming from Kodo Village on Sado Island in Japan. (Hanayui is an offshoot of the internationally famous KODO drummers.)

The Himawari program includes traditional folk songs and dance from Japan, contemporary taiko drumming from America and a collaborative process that has combined all elements into something new and different. The program will showcase original arrangements from both Hanayui and San Jose Taiko and several new works that display the collaborative efforts of the Himawari project.

Himawari is produced by San Jose Taiko. The Hilo performance is cosponsored by Creative Arts Hawaii and Instant Sign Centers. Tickets, priced at $20 general, $18 seniors and $15 youth/children, may be purchased Monday through Friday from 9:00-2:00 p.m. at the UH Hilo Theatre's espresso bar. Credit card purchases can also be made by calling (808) 974-7310, or purchased online at

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