Okinawa City to be an Eisa Hub

Okinawa City to be an <em>Eisa</em> Hub

A rendering of the first Eisa hub building.

April 2, 2014 Masahiko Miyagi of Ryukyu Shimpo

Okinawa City, which declares itself as the town of Eisa, has created a plan for the first dedicated hub building for the Okinawa traditional drum-dance. The location will be at the Goya intersection of the city. The building occupies about 2,570 square meters floor space. The construction will cost 1.2 billion yen. Aiming to promote Eisa to the world, the city is preparing to start the project in 2018.

After the war, Okinawa City held a large-scale traditional Eisa convention for the first time in Okinawa. So, the city will create the building as an icon to its history as a main Eisa hub. It hopes to attract tourists from in and outside Okinawa, and promote revitalization of the urban district.

A cross-section view of the building

The city plans to install spectators’ seats and a 470-square-meter floor space stage with space for 100 to 200 performers. Throughout the year, youth associations from in and outside the city, and other Eisa groups will hold performances regularly. Workshops for beginners and tourists will also be offered.

The city plans to hold traditional Okinawan culture workshops to give visitors a chance to experience sanshin, percussion instruments, sanba and finger flute, and Uchinaguchi. It will create a space for displaying the history of Eisa and documents about Eisa youth associations. Linked with Okinawa specialty goods, the city plans to create original products related to Eisa. For new tourism products, the city will create a training-camp guide to help people learn and practice Eisa.

The city chose the Goya intersection area as a candidate site for creating the hub building because of its connection with the All-Okinawa Eisa Festival and other related events. Commercial and accommodation buildings are also concentrated in this area. The city will confirm the details of the construction site in the near future.

A spokesperson of the city said, “Through the new building and the charm of Eisa, we aim to promote tourism and revitalize the urban district.”

(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)

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