presenter info, myspace site,
photo archive, and facebook.
happyfunsmile performs an irresistible blend of okinawan pop, electric folk
songs (ultraminyo), supersweet ballads (enka), festival rhythms
and obon beats. utilizing the sounds of the chindon,
sanshin, accordion, saxophone, bass, percussion, and keys, happyfunsmile extols the virtues
of o-pop and chindon to an ever-growing congregation!
stay tuned. happyfunsmile will be heading back to the east coast for performances in new york and pennsylvania!
we're going back into the studio to record a new CD in 2012.
come check us out on the west coast! we have performances at obon festivals in los angeles and portland, oregon!
we're still confirming details, but keep your eyes open for a happyfunsmile performance at the brooklyn botanic garden's sakura matsuri in april 2011!
five years ago, happyfunsmile played its first gig at teabag open mic in chinatown. since then, we've performed at bars, restaurants, and festivals in new york, massachusetts, new jersey, pennsylvania, washington dc, and california. we'll be performing one last time at the new york obon festival before going on hiatus. thank you for all your support and keep your eyes open for a west coast happyfunsmile!
big changes in store for happyfunsmile. wynn is presently up in the wilds of maine and brian and ardith are moving to los angeles later this month. but don't worry! we'll be reconvening the crew for the brooklyn botanic garden sakura matsuri in may!
our favorite zen monk, kossan, will be returning to japan at the end of the year. come check out his final performances in nyc with happyfunsmile at forbidden city (12/10) and his own matsuri (12/12 and 12/13).
come check out the bellydancer kazumi, gayakeum player rami seo, the performance artist masae, and happyfunsmile at drom on friday, november 13! amazing art on display by john wellington!
come celebrate the halloween season with happyfunsmile! we'll be performing on friday at forbidden city and sunday at webster hall! hope you can join us!
thanks to rob, irene, olivier, and everyone who made it out to barbes! it was a great evening with matuto, djarara, hfs, and smokey's secret family. lots of great music and if you missed it, you can hear the whole show on the wfmu archive page. next up, halloween show at forbidden city with the entire gang!!!
we'll be performing at barbes in park slope. wfmu will record the evening as part of their transpacific sounds paradise. best of all, we'll be welcoming the latest addition to the hfs gang, eli asher!
check out the article on happyfunsmile in the rafu shimpo! here's an excerpt: "singers akiko qp hiroshima and brian nishii really pumped things up with their powerful and enthusiastic singing....it was too bad they didn't sing for the entire evening. even a tired, real coal miner would have gotten up and danced when they blasted out a rousing rendition of the classic "tanko bushi." that's how energetic happyfunsmile was."
check out a sampling of our latest tracks on our media page! there's a rowdy version of tokyo ondo sung by akiko and the boisterous yama no ninkimono by brian! recorded and edited by ryan!
we just returned from another awesome california tour! thanks especially to rinban ito and shin ito at the higashi honganji buddhist temple and reverend masao kodani at senshin buddhist temple! also, special thanks to bryan and chiemi for their kind accommodations and grandma sakioka for the van! it was great seeing old friends and meeting new ones and we hope to return in 2010! stay tuned for our boston debut in august and our performance at barbes, broadcast on wfmu, in september!
see you in california!!!
we finished up recording for our second cd! now it's all up to the fine editing and mixing skills of our keyboardist ryan dorin!
details are still being worked out, but it looks like happyfunsmile will be returning to california for a brief obon tour! we'll be performing at the los angeles higashi honganji obon festival and the senshin buddhist temple! details will be coming soon!
we'll be spreading our brand of happyfunsmile to washington dc for their annual sakura matsuri. after that, gigs at dickinson college in carlisle, pennsylvania, columbia university, and drom! hope to see you at a show!
we're back at forbidden city on wednesday march 4, 9pm for two long sets! we've got some new dances and songs for you, and the folks from taiko project will be hanging out!
we're back at forbidden city on thursday october 30, 9pm for two long sets! come join brian, akiko, and kaori, and welcome back brazil's favorite enka crooner, rodrigo! we're bringing in a whole new crowd of musicians to the happyfunsmile gang including josh and red from respect sextet. preview your halloween costumes for all of us as we jam out. free as always!!!
happyfunsmile will be performing at the new york anime festival on saturday september 27, 11:30am. welcome in the weekend with happyfunsmile and thousands of anime fans!
we've been working with some new musicians and we're super excited to add them to the happyfunsmile gang! red wierenga (keys) and josh rutner (sax), both of respect sextet fame, will be joining in the revelry.
finally managed to post some videos from the california obon tour! check them out here!
the california obon tour was a whirlwind of activity, from los angeles to sacramento to san francisco to san jose to los angeles. we were blessed with beautiful weather, awesome hosts, new friends, and amazing food! we'd like to thank all of our gracious hosts: the sakkal family, jenna and kevin, the dorin family, and bryan and chiemi.
thanks to all the individuals and organizations who brought us out: reverend abiko, nanayo silver, and the san francisco buddhist temple; grace, linda, and kimochi; sumi, frances, and the fuji towers; grant and echo curio; yumi and keiro; rinban ito, shin ito, dave ikeda, and the los angeles higashi honganji; curtis and oiwake; and reverend kodani and the senshin buddhist temple.
thanks to the sakioka and yokoyama families for all your support before, during, and after the tour! thanks to the ibanez family for celebrating and dancing with us! a very special thanks to grandma mary for the use of her van, which successfully shuttled happyfunsmile across the golden state!
last but certainly not least, we'd like to thank the individual and organizations in new york who made this tour possible: the new york buddhist church, adult buddhist association, buddhist women's association, mae matsushita, col and mrs nagahiro, sam kunihiro, reverend nakagaki, nancy okada, yasuko and roy kato, kimi kato, hoshin and josephine seki, michiko otsuki, ruth funai, and all the anonymous donors from the sangha. thank you so much!!!
we’re starting to get some press for the upcoming happyfunsmile california obon tour! check out the articles in asian in america by erika usui and hokubei online!
kossan, kaori, and wynn will be performing at the okinawan restaurant suibi, on saturday june 21. two sets of okinawan folks songs starting at 7:30 and 9pm. come join the fun! if you're around the following weekend, check out brian, kaori, kossan, and wynn as they perform an unplugged acoustic set of okinawan folk songs in chinatown, saturday june 28 at 7pm in the columbus park pavilion.
kossan, bill, and wynn will be performing okinawan folk songs at suibi, an okinawan restaurant in the east 50s. they'll be performing two sets this saturday at 7:30 and 9pm. come join the fun!
we had an exhausting but fun weekend! the chinatown gig was a ton of fun and we even managed to make the sing tao daily news. the weather cleared up on sunday and japan day was a blast. there's a very short clip of us in this segment from fuji tv and a couple of fan clips here and here.
we've got two free outdoor gigs this weekend! hope to see you at chinatown on saturday or central park on sunday! details on our performance page.
check out happyfunsmile at is most well-behaved!
here are a bunch of videos from our performance at the new york buddhist church. utsukushiki tennen is especially fun, with roy giving everyone a quick waltz lesson!
thanks to the new york buddhist church and the adult buddhist association for hosting another happyfunsmile performance. a very special thanks to everyone who donated to our summer obon tour fund! thank you so much! we're gearing up for gigs in chinatown and central park, but if you can't wait, please check out all the videos on youtube from our knitting factory gig. there was only one sound-guy working the show, so we filled up the dead time with an impromptu session of unplugged okinawan tunes. thanks, jc, for the cool night-vision shots and for posting everything!!!
we've posted some new pictures from our march forbidden city gig taken by the amazing photographer george hirose. check them out on our myspace site. you can also check out a segment on the washington dc sakura matsuri at current tv.
welcome to may! the weather on sunday was incredible and we had a great time playing with gaijin a go go! next up is the knitting factory with ladybug, love etc, and zan...after that, we rock the temple at the new york buddhist church's sangha day!
thanks to our good friends gaijin a go go for bringing us out to the brooklyn botanic garden sakura matsuri on sunday, 4/4. we performed two tunes with them, asa gohan cha cha cha and koi no fuga.
we had a great time celebrating sakura matsuri with the columbia university folks! plus it was rob's birthday! next up is a gig at the knitting factory with zan and love etc. hope you can join us!
we just returned from the washington dc sakura matsuri! we performed at two different stages and walked around in true chindon style. here's a fan video from the first stage and our stroll through the street, some fan photos, and pictures taken by ryan throughout the afternoon. if you missed the dc show, make sure to swing by the upper west side. we'll be performing at the columbia university sakura matsuri this friday!
thanks to everyone who came out on thursday! it was a fun night at forbidden city and we hope to schedule another performance soon. in the meantime, we'll be rocking the sakura matsuri festivals in DC and NYC. come join us welcome in the spring!
happyfunsmile will be back at forbidden city in march! come join us on a *thursday* night for an evening of pure happyfunsmile!
the first-ever lounge night for happyfunsmile. start with wynn on piano, akiko on vocals, and then invite everyone else for a night of enka and minyo! we'll be performing at aruba, this cool little piano bar wedged within a chinese restaurant in midtown. come join the fun!
we're working on gigs at the university of virginia, penn state, columbia university, new york comic con, knitting factory, and forbidden city! also, we're setting up our first california obon tour from san francisco to los angeles!
there are a few fan videos circulating from the new york anime festival. here we are walking through the convention center to the stage.
check out the article on happyfunsmile in the new york seikatsu newspaper and a fan video from halloween.