Kadena Eisa Festival has samurai roots

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Eisa ‘ga-e’ features moves borrowed from Karate.
Eisa ‘ga-e’ features moves borrowed from Karate.

Kadena Eisa Festival is a town event that takes place every year on the day after the last day of Obon. Six local Junior Chamber of Commerce groups and youth organizations in the town, and Senbaru Eisa will perform bon dances on the town’s main street.

The participating Eisa groups perform on Shinmachi Street.
The participating Eisa groups perform on Shinmachi Street.

Specifically, Senbaru Eisa is a group that has more than 100 years of history dating back to around 1800. Senbaru is a part of a small settlement that was built by samurai class people from places like Shuri, Naha and Kume Island.

According to the tradition, Senbaru Eisa is said to have started by young people in the community as a tribute to their ancestors and for praying for people’s prosperity and health. The trademark of Senbaru Eisa is that only men dance, and sing using Buddhist terms and words in songs such as ‘Namuamidabutsu.’ Sometimes they also incorporate moves from karate into their performance.

The festival takes place on Saturday (Aug. 29th) starting at 18:40 on the Shinmachi Street at 446, Kadena, Kadena Town (https://goo.gl/maps/f6qI2). Shinmachi Street will be closed for vehicle traffic 17:00~22:00. As the parking in the area is non-existent, organizers urge people to use public transportation to and from the area.

IMG_5601Minami-Ku (South District ) Junior Chamber 18:40~
Kita-Ku Residents Eisa 19:00~
Nishi-Ku (West District ) Junior Chamber 19:20~
Higashi-Ku (East District ) Eisa 19:40~
Nishihama-Ku Junior Chamber 20:00~
Chuo District Junior Chamber 20:20~
Senbaru Eisa   20:40~
Eisa ‘ga-e’ or ‘o-e’ (‘Fighting’ Eisa performance) 21:20~

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