Tag Archives: Eisa

2012 Kyubon Eisa

This past week was the Kyureki Calendar based obon festival in Okinawa.  On Kumejima, I was able to attend the Gima and Higa festivals which both took place at the same time, on the second day of kyubon.  I found it extremely interesting how different the two festivals were, even though they are on the same small island.  Just as every family that celebrates Christmas does it in slightly different ways, so too, do different families and even neighborhoods celebrate

Okinawan Obon (Kyubon)

This week marks the start of obon in Okinawa.  Unlike in mainland Japan, where obon occurs in July or August, this special period occurs in late August, on the 15th day of the seventh month of the old kyureki calendar.  As with jurokunichi and the recent harvest ceremony umachi, Kyu Bon follows the calendar of the old Ryukyu Kingdom. In 2012, Kyubon falls on August 30, 31, and September 1. Bon, or Obon is a three-day event with roots in Buddhist and Confucian teaching that spread from China.

2012 Nishime Eisa

I’ve talked about Eisa before, but one of the great things about this Okinawan take on dance and drumming is that there are so many ways to do it.  Almost everything is up for grabs when it comes to unique community identity in Eisa performances.  This past weekend, I attended the annual Nishime sumo competition and Eisa on Kumejima.  Nishime is one of nearly 35 aza or neighborhoods on the island. As at the Gima Okinawan Sumo competition, the purpose

Kume Island Festival Roundup

This past weekend was the two-day annual Kume Island festival.  Due to a typhoon during its planned weekend, the festival took place on August 10 and 11.  There was a lot to see this year, and since it is the islands largest festival of the year, it provides a lot of unique insights into Japanese and Okinawan culture, along with a fun night for the whole family.  Check out the video blow for a quick look at some of the

10,000 Drummers Drumming

Japan has the little drummer boy beat on all counts.  There are many kinds of traditional drumming in Japan, but perhaps one of the most original is Eisa.  In Okinawa, Eisa is a cross between dance and music, with performers moving in a limited fashion while beating a variety of portable drums.  Sometimes these performances include music and calls. In August there is an even on the main Okinawan Island on Kokusai-dori (dori = street, a popular tourist destination) in Naha City, where