Do you know about Eisa, a traditional performing art of summer in Okinawa? (Okinawa City)

POSTER: 【OFFICIAL】TripTip GLOBAL

COUNTRY: Japan

Hey there!

This is Okinawa City Koza Information Center.

This is my first article since registering, so I would like to introduce Okinawa City  and its summer features.

沖縄市KOZA

By the way.

Have you ever heard of Okinawa City?

Obviously, it is in Okinawa Prefecture, but it’s not the capital of the prefecture, but it has the name of the prefecture. However, we are a tourism association for the city of Okinawa.

What kind of place is Okinawa City?

To start simple,i will begin with the following list of declarations made by the city.

 

1.Declaration of International City of Culture and Tourism (1974)

2.Declaration of Peace City for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (1985)

3.Sports Convention City Declaration (1996)

4.City of Eisa Declaration (2007)

5.Children’s City Declaration (2008)

 

The city has made five declarations and is working on them as its goals. In addition, as the city is located next to a U.S. military base, the music and performing arts have flourished in the area since the end of World War II

“Although the city has not yet made a declaration, it is making various efforts to become a “City of Music. In addition, they are also working to preserve and pass on the traditional performing arts that remain in the region, making it a region that is truly full of Okinawa.

 

In this article,I’d like to introduce Okinawa City and as in the title, I would like to introduce “Eisa, the traditional art of summer in Okinawa.


 

One of Okinawa City’s declarations is the “Eisa City Declaration.

 

This is one of the major events held annually in Okinawa Prefecture, the “Okinawa All Island Eisa Festival,” which attracts about 300,000 visitors every year, and is a major festival that has become a goal for eisa performing groups.

In 2007, Okinawa City issued the “City of Eisa Declaration” intending to become a Mecca for Eisa.

サーちゃんとエイ坊

These characters were created to promote the city of Eisa. Sa-chan is on the left and Eibo is on the right. In addition, there are “Ta-kun” and “Sanabii”, making a total of four characters.

Nowadays, the eisa characters are very popular not only among children but also among adults.

KOZAWEB

Introduction of Eisa Characters

https://www.kozaweb.jp/categoryPages/22


 

First of all, here is the declaration of the “Declaration of the City of Eisa” issued in 2007.

June 13th is the day of the declaration of the City of Eisa.

Isn’t it such a powerful declaration?

In past years, “Eisa Night” started every weekend from around the day of the declaration of Eisa City until the week before Obon, and various Eisa other events were held every weekend in Okinawa City.

This year, as in last year, eisa-related events have been cancelled, and the Okinawa All Island Eisa Festival has also been cancelled.

 

In February this year, as part of the 65th anniversary of the Okinawa All Island Eisa Festival, the first Eisa Drama was held.

“Eisa Don Don”was aired in February this year. If you live in Okinawa Prefecture, you may have seen it.

The full-length version is no longer available, but since summer is the season for eisa, you can watch the full-length version for free until August 31!

 

Here is the trailer.

“Eisa Don Don” CM special video commemorating the 65th anniversary of the Okinawa Island Eisa Festival

 

Synopsis

A special movie commemorating the 65th anniversary of the Okinawa All Island Eisa Festival, “Eisa Don Don” is a drama about the growth of young men who participate in the All Island Eisa Festival and the family ties involved. A son, who had gone to the inner city for some reason, suddenly came back to Okinawa. He wants to do something in his hometown, and he is drawn to eisa. When he sees his friends, who he used to play with, sweating it out… This is the story.

Click here for the full-length movie > Limited distribution until August 31. 80min. for the full-length movie 【Eisa Don Don】Special movie for the 65th anniversary of the Okinawa All Island Eisa Festival https://youtu.be/H_9Aym4iNrY

 

It’s hard to convey in writing, so I want you to see it. The last part of the festival was a heart-warming ending for all the island eisa festival fans and everyone involved.

 


History of Eisa

The origin of eisa is surprisingly old, it is said to be 400 or 500 years old, but there is still no definitive proof.

In “Omorosaushi”, a collection of songs written during the Ryukyu Kingdom era, there is a word “Esa Omoro”, but what we know for sure now is that in 1603, a monk from Iwaki, Fukurochujin, was almost shipwrecked on his way to China at that time, and arrived in Ryukyu. It is said that the Jangara Nembutsu Odori, a dance similar to the Eisa dance that is performed during the Bon Festival, still exists in Fukurochujin’s hometown of Iwaki City.

 

In Okinawa, it is danced after the Okui (fire on the third day) of the Obon festival of the lunar calendar to send off ancestors to the other world, a  way to comfort the Buddha who has no relation to them, to ward off evil spirits.

Reference – Okinawa All Island Eisa Festival Official Site

What is Eisa?

https://www.zentoeisa.com/about-eisa.html

 

エイサー道ジュネー

Okinawa All Island Eisa Festival

Surprisingly, it was not until after the war that Eisa took on its present form, costumes, and dance.

It all started with the “Koza City Eisa Contest” held in 1956.

People began to compete with each other to see who could dance the best, who could form the most cohesive lines, and who could perform the most spectacular and brave dances.

 

Reference – Okinawa All Island Eisa Festival Official Site

What is the All Island Eisa Festival?

https://www.zentoeisa.com/zento-eisa.html

 

エイサーまつりの様子

As a result, Eisa has spread to many groups and regions based on its origin, and now there are groups all over the world. Some groups have adopted the traditional kata of the Seinenkai, while others have created their own “creative eisa,” dancing in a spectacular manner separate from events such as Obon.

However, the appearance of Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko (Ryukyukoku Festival Drumming), which was created as a group that danced only eisa apart from local events, was a shock and a novelty for Uchinanchu. Nowadays, some people prefer the creative eisa.

 

The following video is a feature story on the “60th Anniversary of the Okinawa All Island Eisa Festival” on the Okinawa City information program “Behind the Scenes at Koza”.

(This is an Okinawa City PR program supervised and planned by Okinawa City, and as of Tuesday, July 27, 2021, it is Vol. 415, and is being broadcast in Okinawa Prefecture on RBC every Monday night from 25:30.

 

I thought I would introduce you to the lively atmosphere of the All Island Eisa Festival this time.

Behind the scenes in Koza vol.112 “Koza’s milestone hot summer highlights! The 60th Okinawa All Island Eisa Festival” feature: The 60th Okinawa All Island Eisa Festival site

 

Even though the situation is still very severe, I hope that the new coronavirus will be under control as soon as possible, and I pray for everyone’s health.

I can’t wait to laugh and enjoy the eisa with everyone!

 


In this article, I introduced Eisa, a traditional Okinawan summer poem, as an introduction to Okinawa City.

Please come and visit Okinawa City, a city full of various attractions including eisa.

Okinawa City is a city where you can feel the real Okinawa, it is not found in guide books.

 


 

From now on, I will introduce more about Okinawa City around the end of each month.

In the next article, I will introduce KOZA, which is often referred to as Okinawa City.

Where is Koza? Isn’t it a city? Is there such a thing as Koza 0-banchi, Okinawa City? Why is it in katakana?

Why is it in katakana? I’m planning to update this article to include the origin of the name “Koza”!

Please look forward to it.

 

 

 

The Okinawa City Koza Information Center is currently updating a column on its official website, “Okinawa City What!

This column is updated every Friday to provide information on topics and spots of interest in Okinawa City so that you can enjoy Okinawa City from the comfort of your own home.

Please use it as a reference for your plans to spend time in “Okinawa City” during your next trip to Okinawa.

沖縄市観光物産振興協会OCTPA

Click here for tourist information on Okinawa City! Okinawa City Tourism Information Portal Site

KOZAWEB(コザウェブ)

 

POSTER: 【OFFICIAL】TripTip GLOBAL

COUNTRY: Japan

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