High School and Hawaiian Festivals

IMG_1513Events abound in Japan’s Autumn, and although the weather still feels of summer, Fall is definitely in swing. This weekend saw a slew of events on Kume Island, dissimilar but also with underlying threads of culture to connect them.

High School Festival

Kume Island has only one high school for the entire island. It has a variety of classes for its students, but with such a wide range of classes it is difficult for them to fit every activity into each year. Thus, on Kume High School separates major fall events into a three-year cycle. Last year they had a school-wide sports day. This year students hosted a festival including games, attractions, live performances and food. The event was similar to what anime fans might have seen or for those of you who have read Revenge of the Akuma Clan, to the happyokai portrayed in my second book.

IMG_1498The festival is an opportunity for students to showcase the many skills they’ve developed while also sharing a bit of their creative side with the community at large. It also serves as a fund-raiser as the students sell food and drinks.

We were only able to stay a short while, but two live bands played with high levels of skill. Both the PTA and one class served food while other students transformed classrooms into various activities such as a haunted house, boutique, stamp rally, and more.

Hawaiian Festival

IMG_1530Kume Island share a number of connections including a sister city relationship and yearly workshops on OTEC. Every year Kumejima also hosts a two-day Hawaiian Festival at local resort hotels featuring Hula, Hawaiian Foods, and other attractions.  Though I’ve lived here for more than three years now, this was the first chance I’ve had to attend. This year I went to the festival at Cypress Resort. As the sun set, we watched live Hawaiian music and performers from around Okinawa and beyond. The food included a variety of dishes not often found in Japan, along with tropical drinks and even a roasted pig!

If you enjoy fun evenings of conversation, music, and dancing join us next year!