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Spirit of Okinawa ~ The Tastes of its Exotic Charm ~

Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Japan in Singapore Mr Naohiro Tsutsumi during his opening address.
Many joined the exclusive event “Spirit of Okinawa ~ The Tastes of its Exotic Charm ~”, held at JCC (Japan Creative Centre) on Tuesday, 20th February 2018. Jointly organised by JCC and the Okinawa Prefectural Government Singapore Representative Office (SGOkinawa.go) , it was the first event in Singapore held to promote and raise the profile of Okinawa’s traditional spirit, Awamori. Around 90 guests enjoyed the night filled with many exciting activities that showed off the charms of Okinawa, and included riveting cocktail-making demonstrations and an exclusive peek at Jimami Tofu, a movie that was filmed in Okinawa and Singapore.

The evening’s festivities began with welcoming remarks from Mr Naohiro Tsutsumi, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Japan in Singapore. Mr Mitsuhiro Miyakoshi, Special Advisor to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was also present to give his welcoming remarks, and to lead all the guests in a toast to Okinawa and awamori; Mr Miyakoshi is also a great lover of awamori, and had spearheaded the movement to popularise awamori in Japan and overseas. Each guest was given a special cocktail, called Gouya Kachashi, made with bitter gourd and awamori, and is usually drank in Okinawa as a kampai drink.
Mr Miyakoshi during the toast.

Mr Genki Ono’s special presentation on awamori and Japanese alcohol.
Following which, Mr Genki Ono, Senior Advisor for Brewing Technology and International Information from Japan’s National Tax Agency gave a special in-depth presentation that introduced awamori, its history, the varieties of awamori available, and what kind of foods consumers can pair the alcohol with. The guests were intrigued by the variety of ways awamori can be drunk. Guests also had the opportunity to taste five different types of awamori, alongside delightful Okinawan fare, which was served by Okinawan Diner Nirai-Kanai restaurant.

An exclusive sneak preview of the film Jimami Tofu, which will be shown at JCC on 24th February 2018. Guests were treated to a special appearance by the co-directors and main actor of the film, Mr Christian Lee and Mr Jason Chan from BananaMana Films who spoke about their experience in Okinawa. Jimami tofu, which is the namesake and a food unique to Okinawa, was served alongside other delicious Okinawan delicacies, and Mr Katsuya Tamaki, Director of the Okinawa Prefectural Government Singapore Representative Office introduced these foods to the guest. He also introduced to the guests some travel information about Okinawa, and encouraged guests to visit the prefecture’s beautiful beaches and attractions.
Exclusive viewing of the trailer for the film Jimami Tofu.

Mr Naomasa Komine during his demonstration.
The festivities continued with demonstrations by award-winning cocktail meisters Ms Goh Mei Lian and Mr Naomasa Komine. Ms Goh, a Singaporean bartender, demonstrated an original cocktail that she created using awamori. Next, the high-lauded Mr Komine, who is also the Executive Director of the Awamori Meister Association, demonstrated two types of cocktails made with awamori. Their lively demonstrations excited the crowd, who cheered for the both of them enthusiastically.

During the event, guests were encouraged to post a picture of the night’s festivities on their Facebook or Instagram pages and the guest with the most number of likes would be given a special prize by Mr Miyakoshi. This special prize was won by Ms Angela Lee, who posted a beautiful photograph of the mouthwatering Okinawan food at the event on Instagram. Her winning post was shared with the audience onscreen at the end of event, and she was given a special bottle of awamori by Mr Miyakoshi.
Mr Miyakoshi and Mr Tsutsumi posing with the winner Ms Angela Lee, and her winning photograph.

Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Mr Mitsuhiro Miyakoshi viewing the varieties of Awamori available for the event.

Mr Komine preparing Gouya Kachashi, a cocktail made from awamori, and commonly drunk as a welcome drink in Okinawa.

Some of the exquisite cocktails at the event.

During the special presentation.

Mr Tsutsumi and Mr Miyakoshi speaking during the event.

Mr Jason Chan and Mr Christian Lee speaking about their film Jimami Tofu.

Ms Goh Mei Lian during her demonstration.

Mr Miyakoshi presenting the special prize to the winner of the Instagram competition, Ms Angela Lee.

Mr Tamaki, Director of the Okinawa Prefectural Government Singapore Representative Office posing with Mdm Keiko Soeda, JCC Events Team Manager and the emcee, who was wearing traditional Okinawan attire provided by Mr Tamaki.

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Japan Creative Centre

4 Nassim Road, Singapore 258372
+65 6737 0434 / jcc@sn.mofa.go.jp
Nearest parking at Orchard Hotel & Delphi Orchard