Honolulu enka singing sensation, TORAO Hikariyama will perform on Kaua‘i Sept. 21 and 22 at four different events. TORAO, the 22-years-old who drew thousands at Hanapepe Soto Zenshuji Temple bon dance in August and at Ho’onani Kaua Celebration in February, returns to do a special performance at Matsuri Aloha Gala Dinner on Friday, Sept. 21 at Kaua‘i Beach Resort Jasmine Ballroom.
Sponsored by Kaua‘i Japanese Cultural Society, the gala will honor the 1st Kansha (Gratitude) Awards to seven recipients, including Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.; Mayor Maryanne Kusaka; Norman and Mabel Hashisaka and the late Japanese dance instructor Aiko Nakaya. The gala event is from 5:30-9 p.m. Tickets are available online www.kauaijcs.org. For information, contact Pearl Shimizu at 822-5353.
TORAO will also perform a mini-show with his unique style of Japanese enka (ballad) at Kukui Grove Center on Friday, Sept. 21 from 12 p.m. on the center stage.
On Saturday, Sept. 22, TORAO is the featured entertainer at Matsuri Kaua‘i Festival at Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e. The festival is from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. He performs at noon. At 2 p.m., he’ll do a mini-show at the Hawai‘i Nikkei Legacy Exhibit room at Kukui Grove Center next to Regis Salon.
TORAO who is from Waipahu, Oahu was scouted and performed on major TV shows in Japan when he was just 16. A multi-talented entertainer and recording artist who sings Japanese and Hawaiian songs, and plays multiple Japanese musical instruments and ukulele; composes songs and dances Japanese folk dances, he’s now learning hula with a hula halau in Honolulu.
In the last few years, TORAO has gained a lot of attention and popularity with online social media because of his colorful stage costumes and unique deliver of songs. He’ll premier his new song from his upcoming CD on Kaua‘i this weekend. He’ll be available for autographs and photo opportunity. For more information on TORAO, contact Art Umezu at 652-3963.