Okinawa Tourism Information:Amusicfestivalinacave?FeelthesoulsofancientpeoplecobaandPUFFYperform“Mabuioto”alivemusicevent(PR)

A music festival in a cave? Feel the souls of ancient people coba and PUFFY perform “Mabuioto” a live music event (PR)

post : 2017.01.28 12:00


An annual soul music festival “Mabuioto” at Cave café in the Valley of Gangala, produced by coba is very popular for its unique location and special guests each year. coba himself is a world-renowned accordion player.

Popular duo PUFFY were invited to this 8th production of “Mabuioto” as special guest performers (happy 20th anniversary to them!). About 1,200 people came to the festival on Nov. 25, 26 and 27. At that time, we sat down with coba and talked about the charm of his festival.


Please tell us why and how you started soul music festival “Mabuioto.”


coba:   When I was on a TV show called “Asada! Namadesu Tabi Sarada” as a guest

about eight years ago, the host Masaki Kanda asked me if there were particular places I would want to play music. I said “maybe in a cave.” Right after the show, I received an email from Valley of Gangala in Okinawa. The email expressed an invitation to visit the beautiful Okinawan cave for  future music events. A few months later, I had a chance to visit Okinawa for a movie called “Tida-kankan Umi to Sango to Chiisana Kiseki”. I was in charge of the music for the movie. I decided to stop by the Valley of Gangala.


At the time, what did you think about Valley of Gangala?

coba: I was impressed with the stalactites, the huge gajyumaru tree and the fact that ancient artifacts have been found inside the cave. But, the most impressive thing to see was the stone masonry graves. I heard that people still get together to pray for ancestors at the graves in the valley. There is a special path for non-tourists leading to these graves. The owners of Valley of Gangala say that they are more like caretakers of the valley than owners. They also said that the area has special religious significance for some people. I just knew that this feeling was real and that the care of this place is a noble aim.


And, that's how “Mabuioto” in a cave was launched?


coba: They wanted to do something really special in the cave. I thought it would be nice to combine the souls from ancients with the souls of the living. How perfect it would be if could all get together to share the joy. This is how “Mabuioto” started.


The first event was held eight years ago, and you were the only performer. From the second year, you invited guest(s) each subsequent year. People are now as excited about the guests as they are about your music.


coba: For the second show, the guest was Kazunori Kumagai, a tap dancer. The third guest performers were Kotaro Oshio, a guitar player and Hitoshi Oki, a flamenco guitarist. Chitose Hajime from the Amami islands was featured in the show number four. The fifth guests were Risa Ono, a bossa nova singer and NAOTO, a violinist. The sixth guest was singer Fumiya Fujii, the seventh featured Maki Nomiya from the group PIZZICATO-FIVE and Hideki Kaji, a singer-song writer. This year, the eighth guest was PUFFY. I am deeply moved to have an eight-year history in the cave.


PUFFY were chosen to be perform for the year-end music festival, “Kohaku Uta Gassen (Red and White)” music competition, weren't they?

coba: I heard the great news a day before “Mabuioto.” I have a feeling that only certain people can be invited into the valley. In the past, some artists could not make it but I think the truth is that they were not invited by the valley. At first, I was talking like that as a joke, but I think there is some kind of power running through the valley—and I think that Okinawa is a very spiritual place.


Selected guests and audiences have been invited to the valley to enjoy the music event. It has been eight years since the first trial. What are your plans for the future?

coba: I have many dreams, but I should leave the directing to God. I have wanted to collaborate with local artists since the first year and one of my dreams came true this year. I was really impressed with the music I listened to on the plane ride to Ishigaki Island. The music selection was of Okinawan artists. They may not be famous on the mainland, but all the music is spectacular. Kuukanbiyori for the first day, caino for the second day and SHOCKING MOMOIRO for the last day were invited to Mabuioto this year. I found out that the drummer from SHOCKING MOMOIRO used to be a tour guide here. What a coincidence!


“Mabuioto” is full of miracles! Please tell us what you expect and plan for the next year.

coba: A young local band played before me and the guest performer this year. It would be wonderful we all play together next time. I have already offered an invitation to someone to be the next guest—but, I haven't got an official acceptance yet. He or she would come if the valley sees fit to invite them. With the valley's guidance, the most suitable person will be the next guest and the invited audiences will enjoy the event. Please visit us if you have not yet experienced the cave music event, “Mabuioto.”


*Please use the contact information below to ask about reserved night events at Cave Cafe




Valley of Gangala

Address: 202 Maekawa, Tamagusuku, Nanjo City, Okinawa

Tel: 098-948-4192 (9:00-18:00)

Closed: Irregularly

Parking: Available




2016 Prefectural and tourism funding support program