Honolulu enka singing sensation Torao Hikariyama will perform on Kauai tonight and Saturday at four different events. The 22-year-old drew thousands at the Hanapepe Kauai Soto Zen Temple Zenshuji bon dance in August and at Ho‘onani Kauai Celebration in February, and returns to do a special performance at Matsuri Aloha Gala Dinner tonight at Kauai Aqua Beach Resort’s Jasmine Ballroom near Hanamaulu.
Sponsored by the Kauai Japanese Cultural Society, the gala will serve to bestow the first Kansha (Gratitude) Awards on seven recipients including Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., former Mayor Maryanne Kusaka, Norman and Mabel Hashisaka, and late Japanese dance instructor Aiko Nakaya.
The gala is 5:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets are available online Kauaijcs.org. For information, contact Pearl Shimizu at 822-5353.
Hikariyama will also perform a mini-show with his unique style of Japanese enka (ballad) at Kukui Grove Center on Friday at noon on center stage.
On Saturday, Hikariyama is the featured entertainer at Matsuri Kauai Festival at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihue. The festival is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. He performs at noon. At 2 p.m., he’ll do a mini-show at the Hawaii Nikkei Legacy Exhibit room at Kukui Grove Center next to Regis Salon.
Hikariyama, 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, also composes songs and dances Japanese folk dances. He’s now learning hula with a hula halau in Honolulu.
In the last few years, Hikariyama has gained a lot of attention and popularity with online social media because of his colorful stage costumes and unique delivery of songs. He’ll premier his new song from his upcoming CD on Kauai this weekend. He’ll be available for autographs and photo opportunities.
For more information on Hikariyama, contact Art Umezu, 652-3963.