Eisa, Randomly

The last time we were in Nobeoka, we were able to watch the students perform Eisa, a traditional Okinawan performance which portrays a Japanese ritual of commemorating the spirits of departed ancestors. Eisa is distinctly Japanese in the way that tinikling is distinctly Filipino. The southern Japanese prayer dance results from the collaboration of drummers (teeku-uchi), dancers (tii-udui), standard bearers (hata-gashira), sake porters(sake-katamiyaa), comedic actors (chondara, chooginaaa, or sanraa), and musicians & singers (jikata and jiutee).

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We were going home from an English Village party, when I happened to walk into what seemed to be the end of the university’s Eisa circle’s practice. Since they are all sorts of nice, awesome, and beautiful people, they performed one more time so that I could catch it on video. I’m such a fan of random acts of kindness, ergo this random post and trappings. (Excuses time: I was talking and laughing most of the time, so it’s blurry and occasionally shaky. There’s also a lot of ambient noise, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.) Here’s the link: EisaKUHW.

The dance we saw was during a school festival last November 2012, so I was happy to discover that since Eisa is traditionally performed during July, we might get a chance to see them in full costume. I’ll try to upload that version if I can, but in the meantime, thanks to these crazy, fun, and talented people. Peace and more peace! :

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