Traditional Kumi-odori preservation organization incorporated

Traditional <em>Kumi-odori</em> preservation organization incorporated

On February 6, at the National Theatre Okinawa in Urasoe, the incorporation of the Dento Kumi-odori Hozonkai was reported on at the board meeting.

February 8, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

On January 29, the Dento Kumi-odori Hozonkai, a voluntary organization to which the professionals of kumi-odori or traditional Okinawan musical belong, was designated as a general incorporated association by the government. Kumi-odori is recognized by the government as an Important Intangible Cultural Property and is also designated as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. Becoming a general incorporated association will allow the Hozonkai to strengthen the organizational structure required to expand the performing arts. They also intend to set up a website and to disseminate information about kumi-odori through photographs, videos and English translations.

On February 6, at the National Theatre Okinawa in Urasoe, a board meeting was held during which there was a report on the incorporation. Through the incorporation, the Hozonkai has become able to receive financial support from the Okinawa Prefectural Culture Promotion Foundation for projects to revitalize, create and promote Okinawan culture. From now on, they will work on promoting development and succession of traditional kumi-odori as part of the project.

Until recently, performers designated as Important Intangible Cultural Property have done their own administrative work. The Hozonkai will hire specialists to manage its systems and make it easier to apply for public support services so as to improve its accounting credibility and the quality of its information dissemination.

During the next fiscal year, they will conduct a promotional project for kumi-odori and consider activities such as performing at schools in order to enhance the studies of script, costume and props, and to provide better financial support and proper training for young performers.

Mitsuharu Shimabukuro, the chairperson of the organization, said, “We hope to hire clerical workers who can manage the Hozonkai. Also we would like to discuss what needs to be done and the creation of a management plan for the future.”
(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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