Mako is a traditional Okinawan music performer who plays in the NW area, primarily in Seattle. She performs solo and also leads a group called Mako and Munjuru presenting music, dance, and story telling from Okinawa. Mako has played with the traditional Ryuukyuuan full ensemble for various events through out the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii and Okinawa, Japan. She is a member of a musical troupe based in Honolulu called Ukwanshin Kabudan who works to help perpetuate the tradition of music and art of Okinawa.
Okinawan music and arts are closely related to Chinese; though Japanese, it is uniquely its own. The main instrument played is called sanshin, a 3 stringed lute, whose body is covered with python skin and looks more like the Chinese version than the Japanese lute. The songs/language used is an ancient language of Okinawa. This language is considered to be one of endangered languages in the world today. As of 2009, UNESCO recognized and included Okinawan language aka Ryuukyuuan language to be protected from disappearing completely.
Artist Support Program 2019: Recordings of Okinawan music, both folk and classical, on the sanshin.
Categories: Artist Support Program