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Folk song group tries music to induce needed rain

Date Posted: 2004-04-08

Music is being called upon to help ease Okinawa’s drought. Although heavy rain a week ago provided some relief, Okinawa’s water situation remains severe, and many groups have decided to appeal to divine powers to get much needed rain.

Some 25 members of the Miyako Folk Song Preservation Association visited Kurashiki Dam on Sunday to perform and pray for rain. The group played traditional sanshin tunes and dipped branches of a sacred tree into the dam.

Genji Kuniyoshi, the group chairman, had composed special music for inducing rain that he performed, face lifted skywards. With sanshins playing and taiko drums beating, he appealed to Okinawans’ ancestors to provide rain.

“We want everyone to realize how important water is for us, and how difficult it is to get when the nature is not cooperating,” Kuniyoshi said. “And although I am not sure whether our performance can guarantee more rain, it cannot harm either.”

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