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Okinawa high school group to perform Eisa in N.Y.

Date Posted: 2003-03-15

An Okinawa Eisa group is headed to the United States to participate in an anti-war rally scheduled for late March. Eight students from Yokatsu High School in Katsuren Town have been invited to perform at Columbia University in New York City.

The local group is known for its creative and dynamic presentation of Okinawa’s traditional Eisa dance. Their performance is to be part of the “Dispatch of Peace” anti-war event Columbia University is organizing on Mar. 31. The invitation is the result of a meeting with the Okinawan students and the University of Columbia Peace Education Center Director, Betty Reedon, when the student group performed at the Haag World Peace Conference in 1997.

The group’s performance so impressed her, she sought contact with the school through the Internet. That contact resulted in the invitation to the event last November.

The Yokatsu High School Eisa Group is scheduled to give a performance that lasts one hour, and consists of two parts. The first part is dedicated to the ship Tsushima Maru that was sunk by a torpedo during the war. The ship was carrying children who were to be evacuated from Okinawa to the relative safety of the mainland. The second part of the performance honors Ehime Maru and the students who died when the fishery training vessel went to the bottom off Hawaii after a collision with an American submarine.

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