Composer Katsushi Arakaki wrote the music and lyrics and Natchy (Whose real name is Nanami Yamada) sings the song. Natchy is a second year student at Okinawa Higashi Junior High School in Okinawa City. The song was picked from a total of 18 entries that had been submitted for the theme. Submissions were received both from home and abroad.
A press conference and award ceremony for the selection of the theme song was held at the Kenmin Hiroba in Naha on June 29. Natchy gave it her all when she sang at the ceremony.
Hidenobu Chinen, the head of the Executive Committee for the festival, delivered a congratulatory speech, saying that Nirai no Kanata was head and shoulders above all the other entries.
|Katsushi Arakaki (on the right), who wrote the music and lyrics of Nirai no kanata, the theme song for the 5th Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival and singer Natchy at the Kenmin Hiroba in Naha City on June 29, 2011.|
Natchy said, “I would like to sing this song to help convey all that is good about Okinawa.”
The lyrics of the song say, “Echo the soul of this beautiful island like a smile taught by a red flower. Bring a prayer from this beautiful island. Beyond Nirai, a prayer for peace for all eternity.” Nirai is the place beyond the oceans which ancient Okinawan people believed was the world of gods.
(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey）Tweaked a little by me.