Kadena Town hosts festival for its great savior Noguni Soukan


Senbaru Eisa group performing at Noguni Soukan Festival.


Although no one even knows his real name, no one denies that a Ryukyu Kingdom government official known as Noguni Soukan, was a savior of generations of Okinawan people when, in 1605, he brought the first seeds of sweet potato from China to Okinawa and instructed people how to cultivate the tuber.

Soukan Taiko drums up the honor of the great man.

Soukan Taiko drums up the honor of the great man.

Before then, regular typhoons had caused havoc on farmers’ crops in the kingdom often resulting in famine and starvation. The new staple, sweet potatoes, was much more resistant to high winds and salty vapors they brought from the ocean, and the crops meant that the harvest and people’s food supply became much more secure.

No one knows the man’s real name. Noguni refers to Noguni Village where he resided located within the modern day Kadena Town, and soukan is a title meaning ‘manager’ so his identity remains a mystery.

Historic parade is a standard feature at the festival.

Historic parade is a standard feature at the festival.

Every year Kadena Town organizes a festival named in honor of the great man. The festival features live music, historical parades and traditional performing arts. It takes place at Kaneku Seaside Park, located across the water from Kadena Marina over the weekend of Oct. 1 and 2. The festival runs from 14:30 to 21:00 and ends with fireworks on both days.

The festival features displays by Kadena police and fire fighting teams. Potato digging contests, a haunted house attraction and 3-on-3 basketball matches are also on the menu.

Organizers note that as there is practically no legal parking in the area, using public transportation is strongly encouraged.

Saturday Stage Program

Saturday stage program is mainly aimed at kids.

• 15:00 ~15:10 Opening ceremony

• 15:10~15:15 Greeting

• 15:15~19:00 Eisa, Karate, and band performances by Kadena kids’ groups

• 19:00~20:55 Music live

• 20:55~21:00 Fireworks


Sunday Stage Program

Consists of traditional performing arts for adults.

• 14:30~15:20 Parade

• 15:20~16:00 A ceremony of awarding an honor

• 16:00~20:45 Traditional performing arts include Karate and lion dance.

• 20:45~21:00 Fireworks


Main Events Saturday

• 08:00 ~ 14:00 Kids’ baseball match

• 15:00 ~  Tea ceremony

• 15:00 ~ 21:00 Haunted House

• 16:30 ~ Potato digging contest

• 15:00 ~ 20:00 Noguni Soukan Exhibition

• 15:00 ~ 18:00 Noguni Soukan Adventure

• 15:00 ~ 18:00 Fire truck and police car exhibition

• 15:00 ~ 17:30 Kadena High School student performance

• 18:00 ~ 19:00 Potato Song Contest

• 19:30 ~ 20:30 Ryukyu Dragon Pro-wrestling Show


Main Events Sunday

• 08:00 ~ 12:00  Kids’ baseball match

• 14:30 ~  Tea ceremony

• 10:00 ~ 21:00 Haunted House

• 13:00 / 15:30 / 17:00 Potato digging contest

• 11:00 ~ 20:00 Noguni Soukan Exhibition

• 11:00 ~ 18:00 Noguni Soukan Adventure

• 13:00 ~ Okinawan Sumo Tournament

• 15:00 ~ 18:00  Fire truck and police car exhibition

• 10:00 ~ 14:00 3-on-3 Basketball Competition

• 14:30 ~ KPAS Battle



13:30 28 Oct , 2016