It's rather amazing what I can find within a span of a few hours. I've said it before on the blog and it's happened again.
There was an episode of one of my favourite anime this decade, "Joshiraku"（じょうしらく）in which the character of Marii took some medicine for an agonizing toothache, and well, let's say it worked all too well on her. I had always thought that the music director for the show came up with the Okinawan festival jaunt.
Well, I found out that was probably not the case. I'm not particularly a fan of Okinawan music but even I have heard of Shoukichi Kina（喜納昌吉）who I think is one of the most famous musicians of the genre in the last several decades. Kina's debut single with his band Champloose（チャンプルーズ）was "Haisai Ojisan" (Hey, Old Man). Now, depending on either the J-Wiki article for the song itself or the Wikipedia article for Kina, the year of the song may vary. According to Wikipedia, "Haisai Ojisan", which was apparently created by Kina when he was in junior high school, was released in 1972. However, the J-Wiki article claims that the Okinawan record company Marufuku Records released the single in 1976.
"Haisai Ojisan" which is a cute little bit of banter between the old man and a boy became a big hit right off the bat for Kina as it sold 300,000 records. Initially, though, it was criticized as not being a true Okinawan folk song but over the years, it has been accepted as such and even as an example of Kachāshī, a festive form of Okinawan dance.
The one that I heard on J-Channel tonight is the above version by Makoto Kubota & Yuyake Gakudan（久保田麻琴と夕焼け楽団）which has a bit of an AOR intro before the familiar Okinawan melody (with a bit of Hawaiian added) comes in. His cover was on his 1975 album "Hawaii Champloo"（ハワイ・チャンプルー）.
To finish off, I found out from the J-Wiki article on "Haisai Ojisan" that one of the most famous characters by veteran comedian Ken Shimura（志村けん）based his silly theme dance on the song. The character is Henna Ojisan（変なおじさん...Strange Man）who appeared on Shimura's long-running Monday-night variety show "Shimura Ken no Daijoubu da"（志村けんのだいじょうぶだぁ...Ken Shimura's Everything's OK）. To think that I had watched that shtick for so many years and I only discovered the source tonight. Talk about your pop cultural connections!