Chin Hamaya Culture Center
Charles County, MD
Chin Hamaya Culture Center began in the United States in 2010. In 2004, The Chin Family moved to Okinawa, Japan (by orders of the USMC) and discovered a love for the culture and country. They began training in the martial arts of Seidokan Karate and Taiko Drumming. They were able to come to the United States with their Okinawan taiko group in 2008 to perform at the Kennedy Center and the National Cherry Blossom Festival. While in Okinawa, Rodd and Cole were able to become professional shisa dancers (the dragon or lion dog). They were the first Americans to be asked to do so. The Okinawan people presented a Shisa to the Chin family with the colors of purple and white to represent peace and unity in hopes that they would continue to share the Okinawan and Japanese cultures. This is the only Okinawan made shisa to ever leave the island. Upon arriving back in the United States they began their dream of "Peace through understanding each other's culture".
Chin Hamaya Culture Center is located in Charles County, Maryland. They teach adults and children the art of taiko drumming no matter the ability, disability, race or religion. Through the help of an after school program at Piccowaxen Middle School, they were able to expand the group and begin teaching on a regular basis. To date they have 25 performers of all ages and abilities. Currently they have students ages 8 to 45. We just recently added practices once a month in Rockville, MD with 55 new members!
Chin Hamaya Culture Center supports cultural and educational activities that bring to light the richness and diversity of Okinawan, Japanese and other cultures. Included in this mission is the dedication to foster community among the diverse cultures and those persons interested in cultural heritage. Chin Hamaya Culture Center is a base to utilize, enjoy, learn and discover cultures from around the world.
Chin Hamaya Culture Center is currently working with Charles County to open a permanent Culture Center where several different cultures will be embraced, to include North American, South American, Asian, African, European, and Australian. We will open our doors in October with a large Grand Opening Multi Cultural Street Fair in May 2013!!
Chin Hamaya Culture Center has had 48 performance this year alone performing in places such as The National Cherry Blossom Festival, the Kennedy Center, Adams Morgan Festival, the National Zoo, Woodrow Wilson Plaza, Japanese Commerce Association New Year, for the Japanese Ambassador, the Pakistan Festival, National Mother Language Day, Annandale After Dark in the Park, La Plata Summer Concert Series, Artsfest, Fiesta Asia, Bloomingdale's, Otakon Anime Convention, plus many schools doing Educational Programs. We have even been blessed to teach and perform for President Obama's children. These are just a few of the places that we go to "Peace through understanding each other's culture."