BEHIND THE MUSIC

A World Wide Journey

Grand Master Choichi Terukina has traveled the world sharing uta-sanshin in Asia, North America, South America and Europe. Hawaii has a special place in Terukina Sensei's heart. Hawaii is where the first school of Afuso Ryu was established outside Japan under the leadership of Grant "Sandaa" Murata Sensei in 1984. Terukina Sensei's journey to become a Grand Master and a Living National Treasure is a unique one. Although he took to the sanshin at a young age, his formal training under the instruction of Haruyuki Miyazato Sensei began at age 25. What he received from Miyazato Sensei are many intangible treasures that can only be passed down directly from the student sitting face-to-face in front of the instructor  and imitating the vocal and playing style of the teacher. This is why, reading sheet music is not encouraged in the Afuso Ryu style of uta-sanshin.

Since opening his sanshin dojo in 1960, Terukina Sensei has taught hundreds of students from around the world. He has been successful in cultivating other sensei in Hawaii and abroad who reflect his wholehearted style of uta-sanshin. There are approximately 1,300 Afuso Ryu members worldwide, of which 200 are members in "Choichi Kai" (Afuso Ryu membership in Hawaii and Los Angeles). With the encouragement of his network of Branch sensei, many students take the advantage of the opportunity to travel to Okinawa to experience the unique teaching style of Afuso Ryu from Terukina Sensei. Students go back multiple times to engage in rigorous training to obtain certificates of proficiency.

In addition to being beloved by his students, Terukina Sensei gives an unforgettable performance to his audience. At 87 years old,the power and clarity of his voice are undeniably gifts from the heavens that creates a connection to the hearts of those who are fortunate enough to experience his performance. In 2010, he filled the Hawaii Okinawan Center to celebrate its 20th Anniversary with a magical charity performance. He continues to support the preservation and perpetuation of Okinawan culture in Hawaii.

Ambition has little to do with the success of Terukina Sensei. In fact, his signature style of uta-sanshin, is nurtured by his long walks in nature, singing in the ocean waves, and smiling joyfully everyday. "Embody Makutu" (the ultimate truth) - this is the legacy that Terukina Sensei wishes to instill in the hearts of people through the universal language of music.

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Mensore!  Mensore!  Mensore!