Special award for Okinawan group performing Eisa dance for disaster-affected Tohoku
March 23, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo
“Tohoku Eisa Project” , which consists of people from Young Men’s Association of Kitanakagusuku village, received a special award from the Japan Seinendan Council. The Japan Seinen OB Prefectural Assembly Prize for Encouragement is a special award from the Japan Community Seinen Implementation Awards granted by the council. A celebration was held at the Kitanakagusuku town hall on March 16, and the members celebrated the award with their village mayor and other members from the village. There was also a debrief session held to report on their trip to Tohoku to raise awareness for disaster prevention.
The Tohoku Eisa Project visited Minamisanriku town in Miyagi prefecture and Shinchi-town in Fukushima prefecture last August to raise the spirits of the disaster-affected communities. The performance was received with endless applause and a call for an encore from the audience.
The project was launched after members from Yorisoi Tai group which had been visiting the area since the disaster heard about residents’ wish to watch eisa.
The project raised funds performing at events, through donations, selling original towels, as well as receiving sponsorship from 121 business groups. The group hosts report meetings in all the town halls in the village to give back to the community.
A plan to send an eisa group to Kuzumaki-town was also announced during the celebration for the upcoming 30th anniversary of the sister-village-town relationship between Kitanakagusuku and Kuzumaki town in an effort to expand friendship among youth.
The leader of the project, Hikaru Kinjo smiled as he reflected, “A lot of people helped this project, and I’m relieved that this project is valued. We would like to send our eisa to many places.”
(English translation by T&CT and Sayaka Sakuma)
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