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Okinawan - Japanese cultural festival begins 3-day program

Date Posted: 2012-03-30

A plethora of events is on tap in Naha City starting tomorrow with the Akemodoro Comprehensive Cultural Festival.

The three-day festival being staged at the Naha City Civic Hall, the Shiminkaikan, spans a variety of events and activities, including Ryukyu folk songs and art, classical Japanese entertainment, Yaeyama arts and folk songs, Japanese Nihon Buyo dance, modern dance, music, ballads, Hawaiian culture, Taisho koto, recitals, drama, a tea ceremony, artistic crafts, pictures and calligraphy, pressed flowers, Ryukyu traditional handball and living arts including dolls and Japanese paper collages of colored paper.

The Akemodoro Comprehensive Cultural Festival will be a combination of events that touch both Japanese and Okinawan culture, says the organizing committee. ‘Akemodoro’ is the word told in traditional Okinawan folk songs and Amami islands, named Omoro-soushi, so the word shows that everything is covered beautifully and brightly by the tropical sunrise. In anutshell, says the organizing committee, the festival, like the word Akemodoro, gives expression through the cultural festival, and the antiques curio sectional meeting called the Antique Curio Market.

Up to 20 programs will be going on simultaneously over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday festival, and at the antiques curio market, customers can touch antique products, listen to explanations of what they are, and even purchase them. Antique products are assembled from various locations in Okinaawa nd the Japanese mainland, and the products often have a historical feel. Many, such as pictures, pottery, pots, gramophones and lamps will be assembled, and among the products are 300-year-old antique pieces.

Keiichi Kaneko is one who likes collecting antiques. He’s a member of the festival organizing committee, as well as president of the Okinawa Curio Art Trading Company, the Naha City Cultural Association Antique Curio Section, and president of the Tsuboya Yachimun Street Association. His job was to buy articles disposed of by the government from U.S. Forces following World War II, but he was charmed by the Aka-ga-mi antique product, and began collecting on his own. He specializes in Okinawan goods. As his collection gew, it led to his opening an antique shop. Now, Kaneko operates his Touhou-do antique shop in Tsuboya Yachimun Street in Naha’s Tsuboya district.

The capstone event takes place on April 3rd, Shisa Day, at Tsuboya Yachimun Street. The event will feature many rare ceramics, including unique shisa not normally seen. Prices will be discounted on the 3rd, says Kaneko.

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