NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

2007/1/11

エイサー Eisaa The Eisa Dance

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Eisa is a Bon odori dance held in Okinawa during the Bon festival according to the lunar calendar.

Eisa appears in mentions of Naha (Okinawa) in the 'Records of the Joseon Dynasty' in 1479. It is believed that Eisa had started somewhere around this period. One idea suggests that the word 'eisa' derives from one of the Ryukyu 'omorosaushi' songs; another suggests that it comes from from the call 'eisaa, eisaaa'. Neither suggestion is certain, however.

During Eisa, people walk to each house within their own 'shima' (area). This is called 'michi-jyunae' and happens especially after the 15th, after the 'miokuri'. However, there are places where they do 'michi-jyunae' during the three days of Bon festival, according to the lunar calendar.

Eisa mainly consists of taiko drums and dances. Strenuous dances are performed to the beat of the drums, alongside singing from the 'jiutai' chorus.  The dozens of dancers moving in step to the taiko drums and the dynamism of the whole, is part of the great attraction of Eisa.

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The Eisa Dance




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