Okinawa’s traditional performing arts, Eisaa. If you listen to the rhythm of the unique shamisen, drums, and Ohayashi (Japanese orchestra), there will be many tensions.
A big event in Okinawa where you can enjoy such Eisaa to the fullest, it is “Okinawa All Island Eisaa Festival”. Eisaa is a traditional performing art that dances while walking along the boulevards of each settlement in Okinawa in the Old Bon. In the sense of dance for offering the soul of ancestors, it can be said to be a kind of Bon festival dance on the mainland of Japan.
The former was done in the sense of “sending ancestors to that world on the last day of the old Bon.” However, recently, it may be done daily during the period of “Kyubon” (old Bon).
It is said that it originated from the “Nembutsu dance” that began about the first time Jyodo-shu was introduced to Ryukyu about 400 years ago, and has been transformed into a style unique to Okinawa over time.
A group called the youth association is formed in the village unit of the area, and a considerable number of people from dozens to over 100 people belong to this group. Inside the group each member has a role.
“Hatagashira” is a person who holds a banner about 3 to 4 meters high, marking the area name. In addition, there are quite a number of roles, such as drumming, hand dances that make use of hand movements, a local song that sings with three lines, and Kyotaro, who plays a jester using the flow of Nembutsu dance.
At the time of “Kyubon” (old Bon), in addition to Eisaa, which is conducted for each village, there are cases where Eisaa is used as a performance recently. For example, it seems to be held at events and weddings inside and outside the prefecture.
Such Eisaa is called Creative Eisaa and has its own choreography and music. It seems that there are quite a number of organizations working across the region.
Eisaa which becomes the summer feature as an event of the ancestors memorial service of the Bon festival of the lunar calendar. Popularity is high by its great force, and the number of the 3-day mobilization of the greatest event “Okinawa all of the islands Eisaa festival”, that continues being held more than 60 times, is more than 300,000. It is a time of Okinawa-shi getting really lively most through every year.
In an opening night of 3 days, “Michi June” is performed on the street around the Goya intersection, and “Okinawa-shi young man Festival” of the second day and “the Okinawa all of the islands Eisaa festival” on the third day are performed in a Koza exercise park.
“Michi June” is like making showy greatly the scale of the parade of the Bon festival of the lunar calendar, which is a normal state of Eisaa. You can feel summer of Okinawa in Eisaa near an original figure parading on a night street.
On the second and the third day, you can appreciate the dance with various personality of approximately 30 groups of the various places throughout Okinawa main Island in the site of Koza athletic-park site.
The inner side of a vast athletic field track serves as a dance performance space, and the charged seat of conical stands seat which has a roof and other stands seats surround around the performance area.
In respect of the dance for holding a memorial service for an ancestral soul, it can be said also as a kind of the Bon festival dance of the mainland of Japan. Originally it was performed in a meaning to send ancestors out in the next world on the last day of the Bon according to the old calendar.
The beginning of “the Okinawa all-of-the-island Eisaa festival” brought together Eisaa of the every place region in the prefecture to convene in one place in 1956. Only the organization chosen out of the every place region of the northern part, the central part, and the southern part of the main island of Okinawa can participate.
It is charm of the all of the islands Eisaa Festival that can thoroughly enjoy a dance of high quality at a time.
|Name:||Eisaa Matsuri (Eisaa Festival)|
|Address:||Moromizato 2-1-1 Okinawa, Okinawa 904-0032 Japan|
|Access:||Approximately 60 minutes from Naha Airport|
|Tel:||(+81) 98-989-5566 (Okinawa-shi Tourist Association)|
|Price / Charge:||There are paid seats.
Please refer the official web page.