Eisa Dance Fesitval in Shinjuku, Tokyo

  • What is Eisa Festival?

    Eisa (エイサ) is a dance festival from Okinawa that is generally performed in late-July (the latest festival held on July 26) or at the end of Obon holidays to honor the ancestors and thank them. This festival is usually performed by young men and women that dance along the street accompanied by singing and drumming.

    Drum beat (太鼓打ち – Taiko-uchi)

    There are three kinds of drums used for Eisa, they are a big drum, a tighten drum and Paranku (パーランクー).

    Leader (旗頭 – Hatagashira)

    A large flag with the name of the organization written on it and held by the leader, followed by the dancers of this group.

    Te Odori (Dancing with the hands)

    Hand dance has become the main type of dancing for conducting Eisa. Eisa consisted of only hand dance originally. The majority of dancers are female, but there are also male dancers with karate-like cuts.

    Chandra (チョンダラー )

    Chondara are dressed in Bashofu kimono and have white-painted faces like clowns, they dance in addition to the role of liven up the audience with their humorous gestures.

    Jiutai (地謡)

    Dressed in brown kimonos. Jiutai are responsible for sanshin and songs from the beginning to the end of dances. Drum dancers and Teodori dancers all move to the songs that Jiutai play and sing.

    Taikochi is one of the main dances, it is a circular dance where people move around the stage/street. In recent years, it has been changing in number columns and rows.

    Eisa Festival website *Japanese only

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