Tag Archives: event

High School and Hawaiian Festivals

Events 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

2014 Kume Island Folk Song Competition

This past Saturday on Kume Island was the 5th annual Folk Song Competition (古典民謡大会). Music is one of the keys to maintaining tradition and culture. Encouraging people to not only listen but create music helps keep local culture alive. Sponsored by the local Board of Education, this year’s event has grown to include competitors from around Japan and even the world. Participants register in advance for this competition, choosing one of 3 songs. With only one chance at their performance

Upcoming Event in Okinawa

If you’ve been checking in on More Things Japanese over the past month and noticed there haven’t been many posts… It’s because I took a bit of time off to work. With a few special projects I haven’t had the time it takes to edit photos, write, and create quality blog posts. I should be able to get back to sharing more of Japan with you very soon. In the mean time, I want to share some information about a

A Kume Island Wedding

This past weekend I had a chance to attend my third wedding in Japan. All three took place in Okinawa, which means the ceremony and traditions are slightly different from what you’ll find in mainland Japan. Since I’ve just begun planning my own wedding later this year, I’ve got a lot more interest in the whole spectacle than I’ve ever had before. Okinawan weddings differ most in the number of attendees. Where eighty guests might be considered large for a

2014 Firefly Festival

First off, thanks for sticking with me during my last two weeks off. With Golden Week and a lot going on at OTEC Okinawa I haven’t had as much time to devote to the blog as I would like. A few weeks ago Kume Island celebrated Spring with its annual Firefly Festival. Though one of the smaller festivals it turned out to be quite a lot of fun. The Firefly festival takes place along jinjin (named for the sound describing

A School Closing in Japan

What is the importance of a school? To small communities like the ones in rural Japan a school can be the very heart. In a land where the PTA has a far more visual and important role, the school acts as a focal point for community events and networking among parents, local government, and even the large population of elderly people not comprising many rural areas in Japan. The past two weeks marked a transition in Japan, with the financial

2014 Kume Island Sugar Ride

Every year Kume Island hosts a large group of cycling enthusiasts from around Japan and the world. The Sugar Ride cycling event is a non-competitive ride around scenic Kume Island. It is a great way for cyclists to meet others and enjoy a ride together. All the courses have various stops for rest and refreshment. This year there were three options for participants, including 45, 90, and 130km. The longest “Challenge Course” included three rings around the island and gives

Kumejima Kumiodori

If you keep up with my Facebook page’s daily photos you might have seen the post below a few weeks ago from the Ancient Tales of Yomitan Village production that the Kume Island Board of Education brought to Kume Island to entertain and inform. Post by Benjamin Martin. That production started off a lot of discussions with the Tao Factory writers and producers and in just a short time they began working on a new production based on Kume Island’s

Okinawan Culture in Dance and Song

This past weekend the Okinawa cultural promotion association in partnership with the Kume Island Board of Education hosted a free night of song and dance at the Gushikawa Community center on Kumejima. The event, titled Dentou Tenou Kouen (伝統芸能公演) or Traditional Arts Performance, was a two-part evening with a mixture of traditional music, dance, and plays. The majority of the performances were in the Okinawan dialect hogen, which most people no longer regularly speak. Along with the performances were subtitles

2013 Kume Island Shrimp Festival

Just two days ago, on November 23, Kume Island held its annual Kuruma Shrimp Festival. The festival is small, but popular with visitors coming from outside of Okinawa for a unique chance to see and taste the prized shrimp (they’re actually prawns but you get the idea). The festival started off with the usual welcoming speeches by the town tourism office, mayor, and shrimp industry representatives. Workers from the four local farms and the Okinawa shrimp cooperative sent the season’s

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