Okinawa Zento Eisa Matsuri

(沖縄全島エイサーまつり)

Okinawa City, Okinawa Pref.

Night Join Okinawa

About the festival

Eisa is a dance performed during the O-bon holidays as a way to remember, pay respect, and to send off ancestors. Youth associations from each Aza (neighborhood, region) parade through the communities while dancing the Eisa. Originally, you would only be able to see the dances in each of their own particular communities, however, thanks to the Zento Eisa Matsuri, you are able to witness them all in one spot. Capping off the final night is a wonderful fireworks display, so you can enjoy this summer festival from beginning to end.
This is the largest Eisa festival, showing not only the traditional performances that have been hand selected from the youth associations, but also the creations performed by innovative Eisa dance teams. The very first festival was held in 1956 in contest form and from 1977 onwards it became its current festival form. It has never been canceled for any reason, meaning it has been ongoing for over sixty years now.
Why not take part in the last summer festival of the beautiful Okinawa islands? 

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Things to do

1. Youth gather from all over for Michi Junee

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Michi Junee is performed on the first day of the festival where the whole town becomes one big stage. Originally, Michi Junee is held in each neighborhood through which its Eisa group parades. 
In order to make it as authentic to the original Michi Junee as possible, youth groups gather from all over the islands in one spot. You will not be able to see this anywhere else, so take advantage of the opportunity and come on over to witness the festivities!
It is held in the vicinity of Koza Music Town from 6:00 to 9:00pm. 

2. Savor the individuality of each Eisa!

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The traditional Eisa that have been passed down through generations in each community have their own unique personal character. There are powerful ones using massive taiko drums, ones that incorporate Karate forms, as well as the gentle and elegant moves performed by women. You can even see some that use no drums at all. The variety is endless.

In recent years, some groups even specialize in attractive performances based on Eisa that make use of pop music, while others focus on original costumes and performances using originally made taiko drums. There is no better opportunity to savor the individuality of this Okinawan tradition!

3. Join in the dance!

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The Eisa Festival is topped off with Kachashi, a time for the viewers to join in on the dance and get down with the musicians. This special time starts once the go is given and before you know it, everyone has gathered in the center, filling up the venue before your very eyes. It is a time for men and women, young and old—the most exciting part of the whole festival. Join in the fun and dance your Okinawan summer away!

Information (基本情報)

  • Festival Dates September 15th through the 17th, 2017
    Held annually the following weekend of Okinawa O-bon holiday (July 13th ~ 15th, according to the old Japanese lunar calendar)
  • Place Koza Music Town vicinity
    Okinawa City Koza Sports Park, Athletic Stadium
  • General Participation It is mainly a viewing festival, however participation is encouraged during the Kachashi at the end of the festival.
  • International Reception and Info. There are English speaking staff members at the information desk.
  • Wi-Fi Available (KOZA Wi-Fi)
  • Restrooms Available
  • Other useful Info. During the second day and last day, there are breastfeeding rooms and rentable storage spaces to keep belongings at.
  • HP

    http://www.zentoeisa.com/

  • Contact Okinawa Zento Eisa Matsuri Committee Office
    098-937-3986

Rules & Manners(参加のルール&マナー)

Please keep watch over children.
Please take proper precautions for overheating.
There are recycle bins throughout the venue so please be sure to help out with recycling.
Smoking in crowded spaces is dangerous. Please smoke in the designated areas.
Use of drones is prohibited.
Pets are not allowed on festival grounds.

Access Map (アクセスと地図)

[ Nearest Bus Stop ]
Sonoda Bus Stop
Line: There are multiple lines accessible to the venue. Almost every line heading towards Okinawa City will stop in the vicinity.

It is a 5 to 10min walk from the nearest bus stop to the festival grounds.

Venue
1chome 1-1 Uechi, Okinawa City (Venue for the first day)
2chome 1-1 Moromizato, Okinawa City (Venue for the second day and last day)
Okinawa City Koza Sports Park, Athletic Stadium

Toshiki Nakamura
Writer
Loving Japanese anime and video games who grow up with Otaku culture.