2023 Okinawan Prefectural Scholarship Cohort【Kyoka Yamakawa】

1.Self Introduction

Name: Kyoka Yamakawa
Nationality: Canada
Roots in Okinawa:Naha
Favorite Thing:Traditional Cultural Arts

2.What are you studying in Okinawa?
Thanks to the Kenpi program, I have been able to pursue my lifelong dream of studying Ryukyuan dance. Over the past eight months, I have been training in Ryukyu Buyo at the Izumikai Tamagusku Ryu dojo in Omoromachi, under the guidance of my teachers, Matayoshi Shizue and Matayoshi Satoko. This condensed period of learning has led to the opportunity to compete for the Newcomer's Award in August 2024. In preparation, I dedicate 2-8 hours daily to practice, aiming to excel in the test and advance in my Ryukyu Buyo journey. Additionally, I support my teachers by assisting with children’s classes and helping backstage during performances, contributing to a holistic learning experience during my year here in Okinawa.

 3.Goals once you return home
Upon my return to Vancouver in September, I pan to share Ryukyu Buyo with the Canadian community. My goal is to perform publicly at various events, including festivals and weddings, as a way to maintain my practice and bring a piece of Okinawan culture to Canada. I intend to continue my training through Zoom sessions with my teachers in Okinawa and will make frequent trips back to train and undergo further testing. As I dedicate more years to refining my skills, I aspire to teach Ryubu in Canada one day. This will not only help to keep up my own practice, but also help make this dance form more accessible to Canadians, especially to members of my kenjinkai. I am enthusiastic about the prospect of making Ryukyuan dance better known on a global scale and look forward to contributing to its international appreciation and recognition.

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