Book on Ginowan eisa published

Book on Ginowan <em>eisa</em> published

On March 7, at the Ginowan Citizens Hall, the members of the Ginowan Youth Eisa History Committee (the three people in front) who published a book on the history of Ginowan eisa.

March 14, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Ginowan Youth Eisa History Committee has published a book on eisa dance as performed in Ginowan. The book also covers the history of eisa in the local community, and took about five years to prepare. Using interviews and various documentary records they researched eisa’s origin, as well as the dances, songs and clothes used in each area. The book deals with the eisa of Ginowan from before World War II through to the modern day.

According to the committee, eisa dances have existed in many of the districts of Ginowan since the Meiji Period, although entertainment, including eisa, was prohibited during the Battle of Okinawa. After the war, residents of 18 areas restored their eisa or created them afresh. In some communities traditional events were lost, but today people continue to hold eisa events in the 18 areas.

Early in the postwar period, because of the shortage of materials many people used to beat U.S. military water tanks instead of drums. The book shows how residents developed eisa as they re-established their communities. Through interviews, the book also tells the story of eisa in the Isahama, Aniya and Nakahara communities, where the U.S. military took land from the local people.

Head of the committee, Iwaro Nakamoto, became interested in eisa when he came to Okinawa to go to university. In the past, he has also served as the president of the Nagata Youth Association in Ginowan. “I’ll be happy if this book helps people understand of the origin of their community’s eisa and promotes community life and eisa through talking about stories from years gone by,” he said.

They have printed 400 copies and will send them to youth associations, community associations and people who have cooperated in the initiative. For further details, call the Ginowan Youth Association, at 098 (893) 4431.

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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