Uruma Festival invokes bullfighting, kings

Okinawan Noh-musical Amawari is one of Uruma Festival’s highlights on Saturday.

On an island filled with Eisa and tug-of-war events at community festivals, Uruma City’s always done it more exquisitely, including bullfighting events at the Ishikawa Multiple-Purpose Dome.

The 7th annual Uruma Festival’s on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. ~ 9 p.m., with most events taking place at the Uruma City Gushikawa Integrated Playground.  The exception, of course, are the bullfights taking place at the Ishikawa facility. Also unlike some festivals, the Uruma Festival draws the involvement of virtually everyone in the community.

The Saturday action at the Ishikawa Multiple-Purpose Dome, the bullfighting convention, is something Uruma City maintains is different than anywhere else, because it’s a bullfighting kingdom event.  Aside from the bulls in action, and none are killed by matadors in the Okinawa versions of Noh-musical Amawari, a modern version of group dancing, and a round of Uruma City cultural activities.

This is a particularly special year, as Morioka and Uruma friendship cities affiliation is commemorated with Morioka Sansa Dancing, and the “part of the dragon God” named “Invitation to Uruma” will be carried out.

Sunday brings plenty of live action from artists active in Okinawa Prefecture.  Events are tailored to a broad swatch of the community, featuring premium artists including Murasaki, the popular band of a few years ago, Ryujin Mabuya show (he’s the super hero of Okinawa), and several high school bands.  Count on more activity as the karaoke contest gets wound up, and oh yes…there is a tug-of-war here, too.  You’ll also find citizens freely engaged in “uchinanibichi” entertainment, the King’s Wedding Entertainment Game”, which gets plenty of attention.

There’s also a potted plants exhibition and a churn convention, another annual event.  The two-day festival ends with festival fireworks both nights.  Attendance is free and there’s plenty of free parking, too.