Okinawan drum group wins top award in Busan Travel Fair

Okinawan drum group wins top award in Busan Travel Fair

On September 9, the members of the drum group Ryukaji won the Most Honorable Medal in the 16th Busan International Travel Fair 2013, held at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center in South Korea.


September 10, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

Naha based drum group Ryukaji won the top award in the 16th Busan International Travel Fair 2013 held on September 8 in the South Korean city. The leader of the group, Itsumu Tobaru, 22, who attended the ceremony the next day, was delighted, saying, “We didn’t think we would win anything.”

Many exhibitors from 43 countries and regions around the world took part in the fair. The award was the highest honor given for a performance on the main stage, on which many groups performed their own countries’ traditional arts.

The members of Ryukaji, including leader Tobaru, Kiara Kinjo, 9, Jueri Kinjo, 11, Aya Nema, 10, Asano Ikehara, 13, and Yuki Uehara, 22, displayed their stirring drum skills and a creative eisa dance on the main stage and at two locations in front of the booths. Their performance then attracted a large audience to the Okinawa booth. Tobaru said, “I was confident that we could get the audience going. I am glad that the judges noticed this.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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