Final book published to complete four picture book series about Okinawan eisa dance

Final book published to complete four picture book series about Okinawan eisa dance

July 2, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

A series of picture books exemplifying the appeal of eisa in Okinawa City is now complete with the publishing of the fourth and final book, Dreams of Eisa. Copies of the book are being distributed to schools within Okinawa City. The other three titles in the series are Spirit of Eisa, Bonds of Eisa, and Circle of Eisa. One book in this series has been published each year for the purpose of educating the next generation about eisa dance. The books are meant to spark attraction to eisa inside and outside Okinawa in preparation for the Okinawa Zento Eisa Matsuri in the summer.

Production of the picture books started in 2007, correlating to the Eisa Town Declaration as one form of public relation activity by Okinawa City. One book was published each year starting in 2013. The actor Yuto Fujiki has written the text for all four books.

Protagonists in the book series are Okinawa City’s eisa mascots Eibo, Sachan, Takun, Sanaji, and others. The books explain the origin of the eisa as an event held annually at Obon, and the role of the community center in contributing to activities in the region. Additionally, the books teach the importance of empathizing with others through the lens of eisa dance.

In the final book, Sanaji jumps back through time to witness historical events such as the first eisa competition in 1956, which sparked the Okinawa Zento Eisa Masturi. He also has dreams depicting the future.

Each book in this series has about 1,000 copies published. The books have been distributed to daycare centers, kindergartens, schools, and libraries; equal to about 318 locations altogether. Copies are not available for sale. These books were the work of the Okinawa City Tourism Product Promotion Association and can be read on Okinawa City’s public sightseeing website Koza Web.

Please direct inquiries to the Okinawa City Hall Culture and Tourism Division at +81 098 (939) 1212, extension 3505.

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

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