The Eisa Dance can be seen at many festivals in Okinawa. It is one of our favorite parts of living here. Seeing the local people so immersed in their history and lineage is inspiring and enlightening.
The Eisa Dance is performed with three different types of drums, dancers, musicians, singers, giant flag holders, and an eccentric Chondaraa (you will learn about him in a second). August is very popular for Eisa festivals, which celebrate Buddhist ancestors and the afterlife. The festivals are likened to fairs in the States. With bouncy houses, a variety of deep fried food, beer, and interesting outfits.
|Tons of people gathered for one of the largest Eisa festivals in Okinawa.|
|The drummers are always perfectly in sync, hammering out a beat that the crowd can't help but sway along with.|
|Dancers bring up the back of the parade, performing a well-timed, carefully learned dance that pays homage to their ancestors.|
|The Chondaraa is a funny, trouble-making character. He makes fun of the dancers, scares children in the crowd, and gets uncomfortably close to those taking his photo.|
|Troy and I posing as an Eisa Drummer/ Dancer pair.|
|The Okinawan's love their Hanabi, or fireworks, just like we do!|