Live Folk Music
In Okinawa, it is said that over 10,000 pieces of folk music have been passed down to this day, and over 400 of these pieces, considered to represent Okinawa, are performed live each night in around 20 establishments on and near Kokusai Street. These venues not only offer visitors a chance to experience tradition, but also offer young folk singers and musicians a stage to learn their craft on.
Originally songs and dances performed as offerings to ancestors, Eisa is currently a form of dance performed in the Obon season in Okinawa. While maintaining a tradition, the dancing is also a way for the performance groups to compete via their drums and dancing.
Grown widely throughout Southeast Asia as a source of sugar, sugar cane is offered at family altars in Okinawa during Obon season, as it is believed to be used by the spirits of one's ancestors as they journey back after visiting their descendants. Ancestors are also believed to take with them souvenirs wrapped in Alocasia odora leaves, and so the leaves and young, un-ripened fruit are also offered at altars.