Akamine sisters

About Us

Licensed by the Hachiyo-ryu Yone-no-kai school of Ryukyuan Dance, the Akamine sisters are a performance unit from Naha, Okinawa who are based in Tokyo and perform all over Japan. At the age of six, Natsuko, the older sibling, became a disciple of Chikako Maeda, the founder of the Hachiyo-ryu Yone-no-kai school, and was followed by Maki, who also entered the school at the age of six. Highly praised for their exceptional sensibilities and performance skills, they have performed at Shuri Castle and appeared in performances put on by the National Theatre Okinawa. They have won numerous prizes, including the top prize in the Ryukyu Classical Dance category at the Okinawa Times Arts Competition. In 2014, they became licensed teachers, set up a Kanto branch in Minato-ku, Tokyo, and moved their base of operations to the Tokyo area. In 2018, they will be giving their first overseas performance, at the Canada Japan Expo.

Akamine Natsuko

赤嶺 奈津子(姉)

Born in Naha, Okinawa, Natsuko became a disciple of the Hachiyo-ryu school founder, Chikako Maeda, at the age of six. She received the top prize in the Dance category of the 2009 Okinawa Times Traditional Arts Competition and was awarded a Ryukyuan Dance Hachiyo-ryu teaching license in 2014. Natsuko studied opera at the Showa Graduate School of Music, and through her experience performing as an opera singer on the domestic and international stage, she cultivated a fine artistic sensibility and powerful expressiveness that informs her Ryukyuan dance performances. Blessed with an exceptional ability to perform not only carefree, dynamic pieces such as “Ze” and “Hatomabushi” but also works such as “Nuhabushi” and “Hanafu” that demand deep emotional expression, the elder sister’s appeal lies in the lightness and elegance that emanate from her lithe core.

Akamine Maki

赤嶺 真希(妹)

Born in Naha, Okinawa, Natsuko became a disciple of the Hachiyo-ryu school founder, Chikako Maeda, at the age of six. She received the top prize in the Dance category of the 2015 Okinawa Times Traditional Arts Competition and was awarded a Ryukyuan Dance Hachiyo-ryu teaching license in 2017. After attending Aoyama Gakuin Women’s Junior College, she studied abroad in Toronto, Canada. Capable of employing her handsome features to display a soul-stirring vigor in Young Men’s Dances such as “Menuhama” and “Nubuikudochi”, she can also express endearment and transience through controlled movements in Women’s Dances such as “Shudon”. The younger sister’s appeal lies in the wide range of her expression, which moves freely between stillness and motion.

1989     Born in Naha, Okinawa.

1995     Becomes a disciple of Chikako Maeda, head of the          Hachiyo-ryu school.

2004     Wins the Best Young Artist Award in the Dance      category of the Okinawa Times Traditional Arts      Competition

2006     Wins the award for Excellence in the Dance category      of the Okinawa Times Traditional Arts Competition

2009     Moves to the Tokyo area to study opera at the Showa      Graduate School of Music, where she will receive her      master’s degree.

             Wins the top prize in the Dance category of the      Okinawa Times Traditional Arts Competition.

2014    Receives teaching license (no. 17) from the Hachiyo-      ryu Yone-no-kai.

1992    Born in Naha, Okinawa.

1998    Becomes a disciple of Chikako Maeda, head of the

   Hachiyo-ryu school.

2006    Wins the Best Young Artist Award in the Dance

   category of the Okinawa Times Traditional Arts

   Competition

2008    Wins the award for Excellence in the Dance category

   of the Okinawa Times Traditional Arts Competition

2011    Moves to Tokyo to study English Literature at Aoyama

   Gakuin Women’s Junior College.

2014    Travels to Toronto, Canada for language study.

2015    Returns to Japan.

            Wins the top prize in the Dance category of the 

   Okinawa Times Traditional Arts Competition.

2016    Starts performing with Natsuko as the Akamine sisters.

2017    Receives teaching license (no. 21) from the Hachiyo-ryu

   Yone-no-kai.

Carrying Ryukyuan Dance on their Shoulders
Commentary by Tatsuro Wajima, Associate Professor in the Department of Contemporary Liberal Arts, Aoyama Gakuin Women’s Junior College

Since becoming disciples of Chikako Maeda, head of the Hachiyo-ryu school, the Akamine sisters have worked hard and matured together while making Ryukyuan dance a part of their lives. As adults, they have continued to grow and inspire each other in a spirit of mutual respect while developing their own abundant talents, and though still in their twenties, they have a commanding air about them that belies their age. In the Akamine sisters one sees nothing of the frivolity that is common among up-and-coming “sister units” trying to make their mark. The Akamine sisters’ performances have a beauty and impressiveness that can only be achieved through the inheritance of a traditional art that has been mastered through strict training and discipline. There is a perfect harmony between them that comes from having studied together from a young age, and a physical resonance between them that would not be possible if they did not have an intimate understanding of each other down to their flesh and bones. The Akamine sisters’ rendition of the classical dance, “Takadera Manzai”, exists in a realm that is inimitable. (The original ensemble dance, called “Manzai Tekiuchi (Vengeance Fulfilled)”, is a performance by two brothers, Jana nu Shi and Keiun.) The Akamine sisters are destined to carry on their shoulders the tradition of Ryukyuan dance to future generations.

Results and schedule

Akamine Sisters: Past and Upcoming Performances

Past performances

2003           Manabipia Okinawa Festival

2004~2009         “Invitation to Dance”, Shuri Castle

2007           “Yukibarai”, National Theatre Okinawa

2010~2013        “Okinawa Mensore Festa”, Ikebukuro Sunshine

2010           “Evening of Ryukyu Dance”, Sangenjaya Manmarunoki

           “Path to Inheritance”, National Theatre Okinawa (Okinawa Times)

2013           “Urizun no mai”, National Theatre Okinawa  

2014           Cultural exchange in Sofia, Bulgaria

           “Ryukyu Dance Performance”, Hamura City, Tokyo

           10th anniversary ceremony commemorating the opening of the senior facility in

                                          Ise City, Mie Prefecture

           Green Party held at Aoyama Gakuin Women’s Junior College

           “Ryokudenkai”, Aoyama Gakuin Alumni Association

           Cultural exchange in Toronto, Canada (while studying abroad)

2015           Katsushika Shobu Festival

           Japan-Taiwan cultural exchange meeting held in Taiwan

2016           Asia Electronic Organ Art Festival

           “Akemodoro no mai” performance held by the Tokyo branch of the Hachiyo-ryu

                                          Yone-no-kai at Curian Hall

           Performance in Hawaii commemorating the establishment of the Hawaiian branch

                                          of the “Ryukyu Soukyoku Hozonkai”

2017          “Diversity of Japanese Culture”, hosted by the Dokkyo University Parents’

                                          Association

           Aoyama Gakuin University Open Seminar

           Okinawa Fair, Aeon Shinagawa Seaside Store

           “An Afternoon of Shamisen and Ryukyu Dance”, Aoyama Gakuin Women's Junior

                                          College Alumni Association

2018           8th Ryukyu Classical Music Gathering

           Okinawa Entertainment Association 50th anniversary commemorative

                                          performance

Upcoming performances

2018.8.25-26

 
 
 
Japan Festival CANADA 2018
詳細はこちらから >
 

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