Okinawa Tourism Information:[EisaNight2023]ishere!(OkinawaCity)

[Eisa Night 2023] is here! (Okinawa City)

post : 2023.06.30 23:00

Summer has arrived in Okinawa! And a summer in Okinawa just isn’t complete without the exciting drums and music of Eisa! Okinawa City is famous as “Eisa town” and has announced the commencement of Eisa Night 2023! Eisa Night is a series of Eisa events related to “The 68th Zento (All Okinawa) Eisa Festival 2023” which is to be held in September. This year, a total of six Eisa Nights will be held leading up to the main Festival. In this article, I will be reporting on the first Eisa Night that was held on June 18 at the Southeast Botanical Gardens!


Eisa Night resumed in 2022 while taking infection measures, but last summer was met with an increase in infections across Okinawa, and also with bad weather from typhoons, the event was only held twice, less than what was planned. So, we can say they’re back with a vengeance this year and it will most certainly be full of excitement.

Eisa Night also works to boost the momentum for each of the youth associations, as they dive into their practice to get ready for the big events like Kyubon (Obon according to the lunar calendar; this year it will be August 28-30), and the Zento Eisa Festival (September 8-10, 2023).

For each Eisa Night, four youth associations from over 20 districts in Okinawa City will show their stuff, and since there are six Eisa Nights planned this year, Eisa lovers will have a chance to see pretty much every single youth group who is actively engaged in Eisa. This is definitely one of the great attractions of Eisa Night.

When asked about the appeal and highlights of Eisa, Mr. Satoshi Kinjo (of the Okinawa City Tourism & Promotion Association), the secretary general of Eisa Night, says, “The rhythm in the drum beat is slightly different with each youth association. I hope that the audience will feel the uniqueness and enjoy the performances.” One of the youth associations that performed that night was from Matsumoto in Okinawa City and happened to be Kinjo-san’s hometown, where he also performed Eisa while he was a member of the association.

One of the characteristics of the Eisa by the Matsumoto youth association is the wide range in their repertoire. They perform several dances that you won’t see with the other youth associations from the city (like Kehitturi Bushi and Muduri Kago).

Aside from the music, Ikehara Seinenkai showed their unique performance with a distinctive instrument. They are the only youth association in Okinawa City that performs Kenkena while striking gongs. The traditional style that the youth association has continues was truly amazing.

I had the opportunity to talk with Town Inamine (shown above), the president of the Ikehara youth association, he said, “This is my first year as president of the association, and we’re all working hard and having fun so that the audience will also enjoy seeing us perform, here and also later at the Zento Eisa Festival.” What also adds to the excitement is that the Zento Eisa Festival this year will be held for the first time in four years!

One of the popular youth associations that will be performing at the main event of the Zento Eisa Festival (held on the last day) is the Higashi youth association, which also was the very first group to perform at this year’s first Eisa Night. The highlights of the Higashi youth association’s Eisa performance are the contrast between the energetic male dancers beating the large and small taiko drums and the graceful and elegant dance by the female members.

Another popular group performing on the last night of the Zento Eisa Festival is the youth association from Goeku. Their Eisa is characterized by the powerful and slower-paced movements known as Gute Eisa, and this is also a crowd favorite. At the first Eisa Night, they wowed the audience as they closed the show.


Kinjo-san says, “Eisa is more exciting when you see the performances up close, so if you get a chance, be sure to experience the magic of Eisa in the local communities as youth associations perform throughout the neighborhoods during Kyubon in their Michi Junei, or at the Michi Junei held on the first night of the Zento Eisa Festival. When you’re close to the dancers, you can feel the rhythm of the drums to your core and you’ll enjoy it.”

At the Eisa Night, I saw how this was true. Young children were ecstatic at seeing and feeling the Eisa drums up close, and they imitated the moves of the youth associations and were dancing alongside them. The local children see how cool Eisa is from such a young age, and as they grow up, they join the youth associations and carry on the traditions of their communities and their Eisa!

Kyubon this year falls on August 28 to 30. From Friday to Sunday in the following week after Kyubon is the 68th Okinawa Zento Eisa Festival 2023. Kicking off on the first day, September 8 (Friday), is the Michi Junei, and the second day, September 9 (Saturday), is the Okinawa City Seinen (youth) Festival. Finally, the last day, September 10 (Sunday), is the main event of the Okinawa Zento Eisa Festival. I’m so excited and can hardly wait! Every weekend leading up to the Festival, you can enjoy the Eisa Night events along with related Eisa events, so be sure to visit Okinawa City! (Eisa event details are listed below.) 


[Eisa Night 2023]

Date/Time: June 18 (Sunday), 2023. 19:00 – 20:15 (Event held as planned)
Venue: Southeast Botanical Gardens

Date/Time: June 25 (Sunday), 2023. 19:00 – 20:15 (Event held as planned)
Venue: Music Town Oto Ichiba
Admission: Free

Date/Time: July 2 (Sunday), 2023. 19:00 – 20:15
Venue: Yaeshima Park, Okinawa City
Admission: Free

Date/Time: July 9 (Sunday), 2023. 19:00 – 20:15 (Scheduled)
Venue: *Details set to be announced at the official site listed below.
Admission: Free

Official Website:  


[The 68th Okinawa Zento Eisa Matsuri (festival) 2023]

[First Day/Eve of Festival] Michi Junei
Date/Time: September 8 (Friday), 2023. 18:30 – 21:00 (Scheduled)
Venue: Area surrounding Goya Intersection, Okinawa City
Admission: Free

[Second Day] Okinawa City Seinen Matsuri
Date/Time: September 9 (Saturday), 2023. 15:00 – 21:00 (Scheduled)
Venue: Okinawa City Koza Sports Park, Athletic Field
Admission: Free (Paid tickets will also be sold)
*Details are set to be announced on the official website listed below.

[Final Day] Okinawa Zento Eisa Matsuri Main Event
Date/Time: September 10 (Sunday), 2023. 15:00 – 21:00 (Scheduled)
Venue: Okinawa City Koza Sports Park, Athletic Field
Admission: Free (Paid tickets will also be sold)
*Details are set to be announced on the official website listed below.

Official Website: 

Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Hiroshi Kuwamura