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Showing posts from 2018

Original art, apparel, and accessories of Hawaii and Asia by Rob Kajiwara

Happy Christmas, War is Over (instrumental)

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I've Just Seen a Face - Live

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Indian - American comedian, writer, pulled from stage

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Don't Know Where to Cross - Piano Only

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Throwing out my Star Wars: The Last Jedi memorabilia

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Kawaipunahele, played on the traditional Chinese instrument, the guzheng

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Don't Know Where to Cross - solo version

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One Thing - solo version

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Revisited - One Year Later

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Poll - Which character received the worst treatment in the Last Jedi?

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Which character had the worst treatment in the Last Jedi?
Admiral Akbar Finn Holdo Kylo Leia Luke Poe Rey Rose

One Thing - lyrics

One Thing - original song written Rob Kajiwara


Lyrics:

The future's here again and your old road is fading away
Another "breaking my back," another "waste of my time"
And you've still got something to say
Nazi mothers and fair-weather lovers
Maybe I'm more than just a brick in the wall?
Though I try, Lord knows I try, I just can't get away from them all

They tell me 'one thing'
"Just you you think you're trying to be?
Don't you know you're chasing fantasies?
You're playing away your days
You've got to get back on track before you waste away
Now quit your foolish playing around
Get your feet back on the solid ground
Before you throw your life away"

Here we go again, lies and ignorance already set a nasty trend
But they don't know or see
That somethings are not meant to be
Second-rate teachers and fire-breathing preachers
Maybe I'm more than just a brick in the wall?
Though I try, Lord knows I try, I stil…

E Na Punahele

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E Na Punahele is a traditional Hawaiian hymn written by Mary Kamahele Boyd. 
I recorded a version of this song for my upcoming Hawaiian music album, Hawaii '18. :) 

E Na Punahele



Lyrics:

E na punahele
E aloha kakou
I kekahi
I kekahi
E na punahele
E aloha kakou
I kekahi
I kekahi
Eʻo

No ka mea
No ke akua
Mai ke aloha
Mai ke aloha
No ka mea
No ke akua
Mai ke aloha
Mai ke aloha
Eʻo

E puana
E aloha kakou
I kekahi
I kekahi
E puana
E aloha kakou
I kekahi
I kekahi
Eʻo


Translation:

Oh beloved
Love one another
Love one another
For God is love





Rob Kajiwara is a Ryukyu / Nahua - Hawaiian singer-songwriter, visual artist, baseball player, and human rights activist from Waipahu, Hawaii. For more information, please visit his website: www.RobKajiwara.com

Nubui Kuduchi

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Nubui Kuduchi is a traditional Ryukyu (Okinawan) kutin (classical court) song. It was written not long after the Satsuma Invasion of 1609. The Satsuma imposed heavy taxes on the prosperous Ryukyu Kingdom, requiring them to send representatives to Kagoshima, around 480 miles (770 km) to the north. The journey was long, difficult, and dangerous.
Though Ryukyuans resented the Japanese, they were forbidden to say anything negative about them under penalty of death. Thus, Ryukyuans began writing poetry and music in coded language to conceal their contempt towards the Japanese.
Nubui Kuduchi is written in Okinawan-Japanese, which is an Okinawan rendering of the Japanese language. It contains a mixture of both Okinawan and Japanese words. It tells the story of those who were forced to go on the journey to Kagoshima as they leave home, saying goodbye to loved ones.

It's sequel, Kudai Kuduchi, tells the story of the return journey home, and contains much happier lyrics.

Lyrics:


Tabi n…

Everything in Writing Should Have a Purpose

In writing, everything should have a purpose. Nothing should be added just for the sake of taking up space. (Students writing essays might take exception to this.) It doesn't really matter what kind of writing you are doing - everything should be there for a clear purpose. Regardless of whether it's songwriting, screenwriting, blogging, business letters, writing book or magazine manuscripts - the principle remains the same. All of the content you add should have an easy-to-define purpose.
I hate to pick on Rian Johnson (or do I??) because he's already received a lot of criticism for this, but his Canto Bight casino sequence in The Last Jedi is a good example of what not to do. The sequence did not advance the story, and if removed entirely, the overall storyline of the film would not have changed. One might say that the sequence gave insight into Rose and Finn's characters, though the writing and development for these two characters in The Last Jedi has also been heavi…

Jess Kajiwara, Angel Unaware

It pains me to report that last night my grandfather passed away suddenly after a fall in our home.

My grandfather, Jess Kajiwara, was a troubled and conflicted man, but he was also very nice, particularly towards children and pets. He and I were very close. He helped raise me. He was also the source for my song, "Angel Unaware."

"You should always be nice to people," he said, "You never know when they might be an angel unaware."

I love him and miss him.



Rob Kajiwara is an Asian/Native American - Hawaiian composer, writer, visual artist, professional baseball player, and human rights activist. www.robkajiwara.com

Asadoya Yunta - English Translation

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Available on Amazon, iTunes, and most online music download and streaming platforms.

Background: Asadoya Yunta is a popular Ryukyu folk song dating back to the 17th century. It originated from the island of Taketomi, and tells the true story of a young woman named Asado Kuyama, who was said to have been very beautiful. A corrupt government official from the capitol was stationed on the island and requested her hand in marriage to be his 'local wife.' She declined the proposal, which was considered a very brave thing to do. Tales of her courage made their way across Ryukyu, and are still told to this day.

Today, however, due to the ongoing Japanese colonization of Ryukyu, which includes the suppression of the Ryukyu languages, the song is usually sung in Japanese, rather than in its original language of Yaeyama. The Japanese version of the song tells quite a different story from the original version, and is more of a simple love song. The heroics and bravery of Asado Kuyama ar…

Before the Night is Through - Lyrics

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Before the Night is Through

Words and Music by Rob Kajiwara

It's a little funny Every time I hear you say my name I only hope You understand It could never be the same

So let your hair hang down Your arms around me Don't need to make a sound But I'll say it anyway I think I'll fall in love with you Before the night is through

And people talk About how love grow Then slowly fades away Well let them talk 'Cause they don't know That ours is hear to stay

So let your hair hang down Your arms around me Don't need to make a sound But I'll say it anyway I think I'll fall in love with you

Maestro Nelson Del Pino

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Today I'd like to tell you about my producer-manager, Nelson Del Pino, and the role he has played in my music career.

I first started songwriting at age 17, but I didn't start learning to sing and play piano and guitar until around the age of 18 or so, and when I first started I was really bad at it. Most people start singing and/or playing an instrument as kids or young adolescents, so starting at age 18 made me late to the game. I started off self-studying, but my family was pretty discouraging and made fun of me. I tried taking lessons from music teachers, but they were only used to teaching children or young teenagers, and they had no idea what to do with me. They thought I was chasing some sort of pipe dream in trying to pursue music at such a "late age" and were quite discouraging. (In actuality, 18 is still really young. In fact, I think anyone who wants to start learning music at any age should definitely go for it, and not let anyone stop you!) One teacher e…

The Story Behind the Song - "Before the Night is Through"

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I first got the inspiration to write "Before the Night is Through" a long time ago. I think it was around 2007. (Click here for lyrics.)

This might disappoint you, but there's no romantic love story behind the song. There was no person who inspired it. Rather, it was simply my effort to write something I hoped people might like, and I know people tend to like love songs. So I decided I wanted to write my own Savage Garden-type of love song.

Realizing that Savage Garden tended to use block piano chords in their songs (see "Truly Madly Deeply"), I sat at my piano in Waipahu, Hawaii, and pounded out a few chords - A, E, G, D.
I thought it sounded pretty good, and had the makings of something interesting. As is a common practice of mine, I decided to think of some random words or phrases to help me remember the song so I can continue to work on it going forward, and because this was supposed to be a type of love song / ballad, I was trying to think of something tha…