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 :-)