Sanshin Day: citizens perform traditional music and dance in front of Henoko gate, as protesters resolve to use the power of culture to stop new US base
March 4, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo
Okinawa Henoko New base construction Sanshin Day
On the morning of March 4, Sanshin Day, an Okinawan musical instrument concert was held in front of gate of Camp Schwab at Henoko, Nago, where citizen groups have been staging a sit-in-protest against construction of the new U.S. base.
The concert started with a Kagiyade-fu dance accompanied by 20 performers sanshin and koto. More than one hundred citizens sang the folk song “Tinsagu nu hana” in chorus and did the Okinawan Kachashi dance with enthusiasm.
Young people performed songs and arts, and sanshin players took part in the Sanshin Day event held at noon across the Ryukyu Islands.
Sculptor Minoru Kinjo jumped into the event and performed Geta (wooden clogs) Odori dance in accordance with sanshin song Tachiutushi.
Kinjo said, “Ryukyuan people, who were not allowed to have swords, had geta to defend themselves from the high-handedness of officers sent by the Satsuma warlord. We’ve created a culture to defend ourselves, not to attack others.” In 1609, the Ryukyu Kingdom was invaded by forces of the Japanese feudal domain of Satsuma.
Hiroshi Ashitomi, co-representative of the Helicopter Base Objection Association, said, “This is the third year we have held the Sanshin Day event in front of the gate. Okinawa has the power of culture. We will hold [the sanshin concert] until the Japanese government gives up the new base construction, no matter what interference may occur.”
As of 10:30 a.m., there were no construction vehicles entering and exiting the base and about 150 citizens gathered along the road in front of the gate.
Citizens aboard two protest ships and 10 canoes monitored construction on the sea, but there was no move to do further work.
(English translation by T&CT)
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