Tamagusuku Ryu Senju Kai Hawaii
Tamagusuku Ryu Senjukai Frances Nakachi Ryubu Dojo, also known as Senjukai Hawaii, was established in 1997 under the direction of Frances Nakachi Kuba Sensei. Frances Nakachi Kuba Sensei learned Okinawan dance under the acclaimed dance masters Yoshiko Tanita Sensei and Mieko Kinjo Sensei in Okinawa, both of whom are certified as National Intangible Cultural Assets by the Japanese government. Frances Nakachi Kuba and the academy take pride in perpetuating the Okinawan culture in Hawaii and internationally.
The academy has proudly promoted Okinawan dance and culture in venues such as the Hawaii Theatre, Neal Blaisedell Center, Chaminade University’s Mamiya Theatre, and University of Hawaii’s Orvis Auditorium, among others. One of the academy’s goals is to perpetuate this unique and rich culture to new and diverse communities. For this reason, the academy participates in many outreach programs, performing at venues such as the Chinese Spring Festivals and Korean festivals in order to promote cultural diversity. The academy has also participated in the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. and Japan Day at Central Park in New York City. Senjukai Hawaii remains dedicated to actively searching for new communities with which to share their culture.
Furthermore, the academy also supports the local communities and events, as well as performing at nearby senior centers and hospitals, in the hopes of bringing a little joy to their neighbors’ lives.
Since Frances Sensei has been trained and certified in Okinawa, her goal is to have students take their certification testing (Konkuru) in Okinawa. This provides students with the unique and priceless opportunity to be trained by the Grand Masters of Senjukai and other senior instructors. In being trained for the Konkuru, individuals develop character, discipline and deeper sense of appreciation for the culture and arts.
Realizing that support does not just come via the form of emotional encouragement and edification, the academy also hosts an annual fundraising event called the Cultural Fusion in order to provide scholarships for students to further their studies and complete their testing in Okinawa. The academy also utilizes the funds raised for other worthy causes within the community, such as Toys for Tots, the Salvation Army, Okinawa Center in Hawaii, funds for Fukushima when the disaster hit Japan, and many more.