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Asia Peace and Arts Festival comes to Okinawa

By: Kenny Ehman

Date Posted: 1999-05-29

Over 70 performers representing seven different countries from around the Asian region will be on hand at the Asia Peace and Arts Festival >From May 29 until June 1 at the Okinawa Convention Center. The cultural extravaganza promises to be one of the largest and ethnically diversified musical events to have ever taken place in Okinawa Prefecture. Musicians and dancers from China, Indonesia, Korea, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam will give audience members a look at traditional music and dance from each of their respective countries. Approximately 130 Okinawan performers will also participate, adding local flavor to this incredible show.

The event is being sponsored and organized by Ryukyu Shimpo, Okinawa TV, and Tokyo MIN-ON, with support from the Okinawa Convention and Tourist Bureau. Many government officials have also expressed their pleasure over hosting such an important cultural performance, citing Okinawa's historical connection with Asia during the Ryukyu Kingdom Dynasty. Governor Inamine told the Ryukyu Shimpo that he believes the festival will help enhance international friendships between Okinawa and its Asian neighbors. The festival will showcase traditional instruments used throughout Asia, many of which are seldom heard in most Western countries. Dancers will bring to the stage songs that are centuries old, enhanced by spectacular costumes. The two and a half hours of performances will entertain with both sight and sound, and is sure to leave audience members with an unforgettable experience. With reservations already received from 3,000 mainland Japanese and 500 Taiwanese, the event is expected to draw a large international audience.

The festival will take place nightly from May 29 until June 1. Show times begin at 6 pm on May 30, and at 7 pm on May 29, May 31, and June 1. Tickets are currently on sale at the Ryubo Play Guide, located on the first floor of Naha's Palette Kumoji. You can also purchase tickets at Hambi Town's Play Guide in Chatan. Advanced tickets are 5,000 for seats closest to the stage and 4,500 for general seating. Tickets will also be on sale at the door for 6,000 and 5,500. The Okinawa Convention Center is located in Ginowan next to Tropical Beach. From Naha, head north on Highway 58 and turn left at the sign pointing the way after you have entered Ginowan City.

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