Okinawans have a proud history on Maui, and invite “uchinanchu and uchinanchu-at-heart” to join the cultural festivities of the Maui Okinawan Kenjin Kai’s (MOKK) annual Maui Okinawan Festival, co-sponsored by the Maui Mall. Myself uchinanchu by adoption, raised on my dad’s home-cooked Okinawan pork and andagi, I’ve made no small secret that I’m a big fan of the MOKK and proud student of Komei Juku Maui—samurai swordsmanship under the tutelage of Robert Montgomery Sensei and Guy Junker Sensei—a group scheduled to perform at this year’s festivities at 12:20pm. Kathy Collins will emcee the event, which commences at 9:30am with a parade of Okinawan flags and “shishimai,” or lion dance. The infectious beats of Maui Okinawan Taiko Group (10:20am) and the Hawaii Taiko Kai (11:10am) will surely captivate audiences; those performances separated by guest speakers the likes of Mayor Charmaine Tavares, Hawaii United Okinawa Association (HUOA) Executive Director Jane F. Serikaku, as well as HUOA President Ford A. Chinen. “Odori,” a dance style that originated during the Edo period, will twice be presented by Cheryl Nakasone and her students (11am and 11:55am). The afternoon closes with a special performance by Calabash (12:35pm), followed by the Ryukyu Group (1:35pm). 70 E. Kaahumanu Ave., Kahului.