Okinawa Tourism Information:Kidsandadultscanenjoythe“UrasoeCityKumiOdoriFestival”

Kids and adults can enjoy the “Urasoe City Kumi Odori Festival”

post : 2013.09.30 16:00

“Kumi Odori” is a performing art that has been passed down since the Ryukyu Kingdom era.
This uniquely Ryukyuan performing art, influenced by Kabuki, Noh and Kyogen among others, was first performed 300 years ago to entertain Chinese emissaries.

We went to cover the “Urasoe City Kumi Odori Festival” which was previously introduced in an article on September 8th. Kumi Odori is usually performed indoors so this amazing festival is a chance to casually enjoy it outdoors.
The festival also features Okinawan folk dance Eisa, comedy and live music by Okinawan artists!

This time’s performance was “Momotaro Kumi Odori Version” (“Momotaro” is a famous folktale).
This is not just a Kumi Odori adaptation of Momotaro, as the tale has been arranged in an Okinawan style.
Momotaro’s enemy the “demon” has been replaced by the famous Okinawan forest spirit “Kijimuna”.

The animals accompanying Momotaro became the Okinawa animals of the monkey, Ryukyu dog and Okinawa rail (a type of bird).

Again, we have the Okinawan doughnut “Sata Andagi" instead of the Japanese dessert “kibi dango,” which is part of this tale.
To defeat his enemy Momotaro does not head to the original story's demon island but to the northern part of Okinawa “Yanbaru”.
Laughter can be heard throughout the hall, and adults and children are gripped by the performance.

Even if Kumi Odori can be thought of as “hard to catch on to” and “difficult to understand for non-Okinawan dialect speakers”, the fact that it is performed as the well-know folktale “Momotaro” makes it familiar and enjoyable even for someone who doesn’t understand the dialect.
The Okinawan instruments live performance in the background and the distinctive Okinawan costumes are also a must-see.

From this month the “Urasoe City Kumi Odori Festival” will take place every weekend.
On the 28th the most famous Kumi Odori performace “Shushin Kaneiri” will be performed.
If you have the chance go with your family or friends to enjoy this traditional Okinawan performing art.
Check Urasoe Navi for details

Schedule: Every weekend from September 7th (Sat) to October 6th (Sun)

Site: National Theater Okinawa Front Court Special Stage
     4-14-1 Jitchaku, Urasoe City, Okinawa Prefecture

Time: From 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm (Doors open 4:30pm)

Inquiries: 098-860-7704 Kumi Odori Festival Office (JTB Okinawa)

Okinawa Clip Photo writer  Taiki Gushiken


4-14-1 Jitchaku, Urasoe City, Okinawa