Okinawa Tourism Information:Thesoundofthedrumtellsthearrivalofsummer.ThebiggesteventofTokashikiIsland,“WhaleChannelTokashikiFestival2015”washeld!

The sound of the drum tells the arrival of summer. The biggest event of Tokashiki Island, “Whale Channel Tokashiki Festival 2015” was held!

post : 2015.09.08 21:00

Tokashiki Island in Kerama Islands is well known not only for beautiful sea in summer but also for the mecca of whale watching in winter.  The largest event of the island which is deeply associated with whales is, of course, “Whale Channel Tokashiki Festival”! 

As if it were telling the genuine arrival of the summer season, it is a summer festival held on the weekend in late July every year.  The festival celebrated the 21st anniversary this year, and was held for two days, Friday, July 31 and Saturday, August 1*.  The venue was crowded in heat and excitement with about as many as 1,500 spectators from in and out of the island!

The venue was specially set up on Tokashiki Elementary and Junior High School Outdoor Field, which is located just in front of Tokashiki Port, the entrance of the island.

There were many vendors lined up, and small attractions brought cheerful smile to children of in and out of the island. 



On Day 2 of the festival, August 1, a variety of entertainment was performed on the main stage, starting with sanshin (Okinawan three-stringed instrument) performance by the island children, karate performance, Hawaiian hula, etc.  As the sky got dark, the island people who just finished a busy day of the summer vacation gathered gradually to the venue. 




And around in the middle of the festival, the star performer appeared on the stage!  “Kerama Daiko (drum),” a creative Japanese drum team which was founded in 1986 and represents the island, started their dynamic show!  As the festival has another name “Whale Channel Taiko Festival,” this is the best highlight of the festival.   A heavy-hitting, rhythmical sound of drum as if they had been shaking the whole island was powerful and impressive!  Not a few people come to the festival just to see their performance.


The powerful drum performance was followed by Eisa dance of the youth group organized with “chondara (clown)” and lion dance.  The spectators remained fascinated by their 30- minute show. 





At the end of sanshin live show by Ayumu Yonaha, an artist from Yaeyama, kachashi dance was performed, inviting spectators of the whole venue!  This must have been the highest moment of Tokashiki Island in the two event days, or maybe in one year!



Then, the festival was in the final stage.  It was time for the climax!  They closed the festival with 300 fireworks to welcome the grand finale.  

By the way, the collaboration of firework display and laser show by the special effect was originally scheduled; however, unfortunately it was canceled due to the change in event dates.  But we are expecting that they will organize the program again next time.  Ladies and gentlemen, let’s write “Tokashiki Festival” in a 2016 schedule book for the weekend in late July! (LOL) 

Whale Channel Tokashiki Festival 2015

Dates: Friday, July 31 & Saturday, August 1, 2015 
*Postponed from Friday, July 24 & Saturday, July 25 of 2015 due to the influence of Typhoon HALOLA
Hours: 18:00 to 21:00
Venue: Tokashiki Festival Special Venue
(Ground of Tokashiki Elementary & Junior High School)
Host: Tokashiki Festival Executive Committee
TEL: 098-987-2430
Official Website: http://www.tokashiki.or.jp

Okinawa CLIP Photo Writer  Kiwamu Ogawa(Qey Word)

 

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