Yomitan Village shows off traditional culture at weekend festival

Shinkousen, a replica of a trading ship that used to ply trade routes between Okinawa and China is a part of the “Play of Taki” performed as a part of the festival.

The summer is changing into fall, and the days are getting cooler, but Yomitan Village, which is about to become the most populous village in the nation on Jan. 1, is getting into party mood as it’s getting ready to show the best the village has to offer at the 39th Yomitan Festival this weekend.

Women’s group performing a traditional dance.

The Yomitan Festival traditionally takes place the first weekend of November. The festival owes its special flavor to the fact that it relies almost entirely on local people for its entertainment. This year some 600 Yomitan residents perform traditional Okinawan music playing sanshin along with classical dance performances on both days.

“The Play of Taki,” Shinkousen, a theatrical performance telling the story of the Yomitan Village pioneer who helped to open up trade between China and Okinawa, is performed starting 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. The performance features a replica of a trading ship, which is paraded around the festival site.

Fireworks display ends the festivities on both days starting 8:30 p.m.

The 39th Yomitan Festival takes place from 2 to 9 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday at Yomitan Comprehensive Athletic Park across the hill and old Yomitan Airfield in front of Torii Station main gate.

Yomitan Festival relies heavily on traditional Okinawan culture like sanshin music and Ryukyu dance.