Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Spirited Away

This is another photo of the Shinjuku Eisa Festival we had near Shinjuku Station.

This group came all the way from Okinawa to perform here. Eisa, a traditional Okinawan dance, is a type of dance we do during the Obon season (like the Awa dance).

Obon is a Buddhist holiday here in Japan, where we welcome the spirits of our ancestors back into our homes during that period. Okinawa Prefecture, formerly the Ryukyu Kingdom, previously followed the old Chinese calendar and so the Eisa dance is done on July 15th in the Chinese calendar, which is the day we send back the spirits of our ancestors to their world again. In Okinawa we call this day "Ooh-kui (ウークイ)." This year the Obon in the Chinese calendar is from August 12 to 14.

It's said that the Eisa originally was danced on the last day of Obon because when the spirits of our ancestors came down on the 13th, the had such a fun time with the family that they didn't want to leave. So the drums and the shouts were a way to scare the spirits back to their own world. I thought that was funny!

I'm so sorry but work and house guests have been keeping me busy lately. I won't be able to comment back on every one's blogs but will catch up you all early next week. Hopefully, I'll at least be able to post some photos here for you. Thank you so much for always dropping by :-)


  1. Love the shots from this festival. It looks so interesting.

  2. no worries Kaori chan.
    I;m loving the Obon series. ^0^
    I love the sound of the drums
    and whoa! lot of peeps are watching the event too. ^-^

  3. I’m interested in the spectators. Their clothes seem more comfortable and casual than I remember seeing in Shinjuku (a decade and more ago).

    Speaking of Okinawa, I wish I knew what came after 「ハイヤー」。Oh. Got it.

  4. This is an amazing picture ! Thank you very much for sharing; makes me long to be able to visit your country even more.

    Please have you all a wonderful Wednesday.

  5. Relax and enjoy your guests Kaori, we will enjoy the photos you manage to put up.

  6. I hope you're able to free yourself of work & guests quickly!

  7. Interesting how the cultures have evolved slightly differently... yet have their common roots. The Chinese use firecrackers to drive away bad spirits. I have not heard of a time when ancestors are invited for a time-limited visit... ours are with us constantly ;-)

    Enjoy your work and your guests (your ancestors? LOL)... we'll be here when you're ready.

  8. Great shot of the drummers!

  9. Hey! This reminds me of that one video game that Yoko and I played when I was there. haha.

  10. Great to see! No worries about commenting (I know how that is!) :}

  11. Beautiful shot and interesting story!


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