Tomi Taira (平良 とみ, Taira Tomi, 5 November 1928 – 6 December 2015) was a Japanese actress with a long history of performing in Okinawan theatre. She was mainly active as an actress, narrator, dialect coach and in other capacities in shows and films taking place in Okinawa and in projects otherwise representing the region, as well as working more directly and officially with the Okinawa Tourist Bureau in promoting the island prefecture.
Acting both on stage and in films for many years, her first notable role in films was that of the title role of Nabbie, the grandmother in the 1999 film Nabbie no koi .
Tomi Taira was born on 5 November 1928.At the age of thirteen, after graduating from Ishigaki Elementary School, she joined the "Ōchō Kojirō Ichiza" ("Old Man Kojirō's Troupe"), where she met her future husband, Susumu Taira. Years later, in 1956, she joined the troupe "Tokiwa-za" led by Chōshū Makishi .
Taira Tomi frequently performed alongside her husband both on stage and in films, and the two were active together in other ventures. The two founded an Okinawan theatrical troupe, "Shio" (潮, lit. "The Tide") in 1971;among his many acting roles, Susumu played Tomi's chief love interest, Sun Ra, in Nabbie no koi.
After the release of Nabbie no koi, Taira narrated and acted in a number of Japanese television dramas,including Sushi Ōji! (lit. "Prince [of] Sushi"), along with films such as Nada Sōsō and a Japanese version of A Midsummer Night's Dream , entitled Manatsu no yo no yume .
She received a number of awards over the course of her career, including being named Best Supporting Actress at the 30th Japanese Television Drama Academy Awards for her performance in the 2001 television drama Churasan ,and receiving the Tokyo Sports Film Award, for which one of the chief judges was Japanese director/screenwriter/actor Takeshi Kitano. In 1998, she was officially designated by Okinawa Prefecture a Protector of Intangible Cultural Properties, Ryukyuan Song and Drama (沖縄県指定無形文化財琉球歌劇保持者). She died on 6 December 2015 at the age of 87.
Okinawan music is the music associated with the Okinawa Islands of southwestern Japan. In modern Japan, it may also refer to the musical traditions of Okinawa Prefecture, which covers the Miyako and Yaeyama Islands in addition to the Okinawa Islands. It has its roots in the larger musical traditions of the Southern Islands.
New Ishigaki Airport,, also branded as Painushima Ishigaki Airport, is a regional airport located in the Shiraho district of Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The airport is located near the eastern coast of Ishigaki Island. It connects the island to major cities in Japan as well as destinations throughout Okinawa Prefecture and the Yaeyama Islands. New Ishigaki Airport was built to replace Ishigaki Airport, which with a shorter runway of only 1,500 metres (4,900 ft), could not accommodate larger jets.
Yukka nu hii is an annual festival of the Okinawa Islands of southwestern Japan, which is traditionally celebrated on the 4th day of the 5th month of the lunisolar calendar. It centers on the traditional dragon boat races. The festival dates back to circa 1400, where it is said to have been adopted from the Chinese. The dragon boat races are a form of giving thanks to the sea and agricultural gods and asking for their continued help for the future.
Okinawa Social Mass Party is a local political party in Okinawa, Japan. The party's name is abbreviated as Social Mass Party or Shadai-tō (社大党). The party primarily adheres to social democracy.
Jahana Noboru was an official in the government of Japan's Okinawa Prefecture, and an Okinawan rights activist, in connection with the Freedom and People's Rights Movement.
Nabbie's Love is a 1999 film written and directed by Yuji Nakae about Nanako Agarikinjo returning to Aguni Island (Okinawa) to visit her grandmother, Nabbie Agarikinjo, played by Tomi Taira.
Ueekata (親方), in the Okinawan language, was the highest rank in the yukatchu aristocracy of the former Ryukyu Kingdom, though it was still below the aji nobility. Members of the Council of Three, a very high-ranking governmental body, were chosen from among the ueekata.
Rinshō Kadekaru was a Japanese-Okinawan singer who was known as a representative Okinawan folk, shimauta, singer of the post-war era.
Sonohyan-utaki is a sacred grove of trees and plants (utaki) of the traditional indigenous Ryukyuan religion. It is located on the grounds of Shuri Castle in Naha, Okinawa, a few paces away from the Shureimon castle gate. The utaki, or more specifically its stone gate, is one of a number of sites which together comprise the UNESCO World Heritage Site officially described as Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu, and has been designated an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese national government.
Oyake Akahachi, also Oyake Akahachi Hongawara (遠弥計赤蜂保武川良) was a Ryukyuan lord (aji) of Ishigaki Island who led a rebellion against the Ryukyu Kingdom in 1500.
Gosamaru was a Ryukyuan Lord (Aji) of Yomitanzan and, later, Nakagusuku. He was also known as Seishun (盛春), and by the Chinese name Mao Guoding. He supported Shō Hashi, first king of the Ryukyu Kingdom, in his conquest of Hokuzan and unification of Okinawa Island. He committed suicide in 1458 during a battle with the Katsuren Aji, Amawari.
The Ryūkyū Shimpō was the first Okinawan newspaper. It was founded in 1893 by Shō Jun, a former prince of the Ryūkyū Kingdom, and is still in publication today.
Naata Ufushu was a Ryukyuan local chief who supported the forces of the Ryūkyū Kingdom in suppressing the rebellion of Oyake Akahachi, another regional chieftain.
Ōta Chōfu was a prominent Ryukyuan journalist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, famous for his involvement in the Kōdō-kai Movement, advocating the maintenance of hereditary rule of Okinawa under the heirs to the royal family of Ryūkyū.
Shō Yūkō Ginowan ueekata Chōho, also known more simply as Giwan Chōho, was a Ryukyuan government official and emissary; at the time of the Meiji Restoration in Japan, he was a member of the Sanshikan, the Council of Three top government ministers in the Ryūkyū Kingdom.
The Koza riot was a violent and spontaneous protest against the US military presence in Okinawa, which occurred on the night of December 20, 1970, into the morning of the following day. Roughly 5,000 Okinawans clashed with roughly 700 American MPs in an event which has been regarded as symbolic of Okinawan anger against 25 years of US military occupation. In the riot, approximately 60 Americans and 27 Okinawans were injured, 80 cars were burned, and several buildings on Kadena Air Base were destroyed or heavily damaged.
Gusukuma Seihō was an official court painter at the royal court of the Ryūkyū Kingdom. He was also known as Ji Ryō (自了) and by the Chinese-style name Qin Kesheng.
Zenchū Nakahara was a Japanese scholar, known particularly for his work on the Omoro sōshi, a written collection of songs and poems which constitutes an oral history of Okinawa and the Ryūkyū Kingdom.
Yamada Castle was a Ryukyuan gusuku during the Gusuku Period of Ryukyuan history. It is famous for being the birthplace of the Ryukyuan general Gosamaru. Gosamaru led the army of the castle's magiri against Nakijin Castle in 1416, helping the King of Chūzan to conquer Hokuzan. In return for his loyalty, Gosamaru was given land in Yomitanzan and allowed to build a new gusuku. He used materials from Yamada Castle to build Zakimi Castle in 1420. The ruins of Yamada Castle are in present-day Onna, Okinawa, in the Yamada district.
The second Shō clan ruled the Ryukyu Kingdom from 1469 to 1879, under the title of King of Chūzan. This clan took the clan name from the earlier rulers of the kingdom, the first Shō clan, even though the new royal family has no blood relation to the previous one. Until the abolition of Japanese peerage in 1947, the head of the family was given the rank of marquess while several cadet branches held the title of baron.