Cheryl Nakasone, a third generation sansei, started dance lessons at an early age. Born into a family of prominent Okinawan musicians – her uncle Harry Seisho Nakasone played the sanshin and was designated a Nation Living Treasure, and grandmother Nae Nakasone taught kutu and learned from Masters Ryojin and Ryosho Kin in 1930. Her grandparents on her maternal side also played sanshin and kutu and her mother was her biggest supporter.

After graduating from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, she continued her studies under the tutelage of Ryosho Kin, a designated National Living Treasure of Japan. She is the first foreign-born dancer to complete all levels of the Ryukyu Shimpo Geino Konkuru and in 1977 she was designated Shibu Cho of Jimpu Kai Kin Ryosho Ryukyu Geino Kenkyusho, Hawai‘i Shibu.


The performing arts of Okinawa have evolved over nearly six hundred years of history, beginning in the “Golden Age” of the Ryukyu Kingdom in the 1300s. These arts have survived through the turbulence of wars and across oceans in different cultures as Okinawans emigrated around the world. In Hawai‘i, Cheryl Yoshie Nakasone, Artistic Director of Jimpu Kai, has created new dances for today’s audiences. Each program will vary slightly and may include; classical dances, new choreography, traditional folk dances, original choreography set to contemporary folk music, live performance of music using the sanshin and or a short demonstration of kumiwudui, (the classical dance-drama unique to Okinawa). At the end of the program, the audience can participate in atchame, the improvisational dance form that goes with the lively kachashi music heard at every Okinawan party or gathering.


Changing area
CD Player
Minimum 10′ x 15′ space
Dressing room
A-V needs

Age level appropriateness: all ages
Length: 45-60 minutes

For information on booking, email us at csinfo@hawaii.edu