Okinawan Dance Flowers Far From Home
Taisho Ward in Osaka City has a population of over 60,000. It's estimated that a quarter of the residents either migrated here from Okinawa or are related to those who did. Not surprisingly, the area is called "Little Okinawa." Here, people cherished Okinawan traditional dance called "Eisa." Eisa is performed in Okinawa during Bon, the period in which the spirits of ancestors are believed to come back to visit. People dedicate the dance to their ancestors as a way of honoring them. Striking large and small drums, the participants line up in rows to parade through the streets of their community. We focused on the children's Eisa group that have been practicing for an upcoming performance, their first in three years.
A group of children are gathered in the gym of a local elementary school. It's the Okinawa children's Eisa group with about 30 members.
About half of the members have Okinawan roots.
Kakihana Yoshimori has been teaching Eisa to the children for nearly 40 years.