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Okinawa National Theater opens

Date Posted: 2004-01-22

The new Okinawa National Theater, a government owned institution built to advance Okinawan classical performing arts, opened its doors Sunday. More than 500 invited guests witnessed the opening performance of traditional Okinawan dance and music. There are only six national theaters in the country; three of them are in Tokyo and the two others are in Osaka. The Japanese emperor and emporess are visiting Okinawa this week, and are scheduled to attend a performance in the theater Friday night.

Toshimitsu Motoki, the minister in charge of Okinawan development, speaking at the opening ceremony, said the theater is a landmark that will ensure that the Okinawan traditions will be preserved. “This theater will showcase the traditional Okinawan culture to people from mainland Japan and whole world. It will give the Okinawan people a great opportunity to promote their distinctive cultural heritage,” Motoki said.

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