Japanese drums lead the beat at festival in Onna

The collaboration show is truly unique experience.

An experience center in Onna Village is playing host to The 2nd Tsunagu Bunka Festival on December 7th, bringing people-to-people and culture-to-culture through Japanese drums.

The unique cultural exchange event centers on Japanese drums. ‘‘Tsunagu’ in the name means ‘big rope’, and organizers say they “aim at connecting the sound of Japanese drums emotionally to people through an imaginary big rope.”  The daylong event features both free activities and an evening Japanese Drum concert.

The combination of Okinawan and Japanese drum groups perform at the ‘Tsunagu’ drum concert starting 6 p.m.

Two kinds of events are scheduled. In ‘Tsunagaru Festa’ at the open space ‘Tida Hiroba’ in Fureai Hands-on Experience Center in Onna Village, 5973 Onna, a free variety stage performance is scheduled.  Japanese drum groups from Tokyo and Okinawa will warm up the event.

There will also be a workshop by professional Japanese drum players explaining and teaching how to play Japanese drums.  A ¥500 fee covers participation.  There will also be a nationwide sweets picks’ fair and many food stalls.  For the first 30 people attending, ‘Usagiya,’ a traditional Japanese sweets store from Tokyo, will present its popular bean-jam pancake ‘Dorayaki’, which usually can be bought only at stores in Tokyo.

‘Tsunagu’ Japanese drum concert, the main event, begins at Yuuna Hall at the Fureai Hands-on Experience Center at 6 p.m. Professional Japanese drum performers who are actively playing not only nationwide but in performances throughout the world, Ryouta Kanazashi, Takayuki Hashiguchi and Makoto Sekine, will lead the performance, collaborating with professional groups of Okinawan traditional performing arts.  It is a good chance to see a variety show of collaboration between Japanese drums and Okinawan traditional performing arts.

Admission is free for Tida Hiroba, where events run 11 a.m. ~ 4:30 p.m. For the Japanese drum evening concert ‘Tsunagu,’ to which doors open at 5:30 p.m., advance tickets are ¥2,000 for adults and ¥1,200 for high school students and younger.  Tickets at the door cost an additional ¥500.

Festival details and a promotion video can be seen on the Drum ‘Tsunagu’ Project homepage (in Japanese) at http://www.taiko-tsunagu.com/. http://www.taiko-tsunagu.com/