Due to the pandemic, most of this year’s eisaa festivities (there were still smaller, downsized local ones here and there) have been canceled. To make up for it, there was a limited time YouTube VOD of the fantastic film “Eisaa Don Don” (extended to 9/30!), a rebroadcast of the Campus Records x Matsuda Kazutoshi’s 2020 eisaa festival, and now we have Virtual Okinawa’s 10,000 eisaa dancers emceed by our favorite VTuber Nema Ui! While it was live-streamed on 9/4 (Uchinaa time), it’s available as an archive for now. Oh, and it’s around 5 and a half hours long!
With the cancellation of this year’s eisaa festivities, Campus Records is rebroadcasting their Remote Eisaa Festival 2020 on their YouTube channel! They have also launched a Remote Eisaa Festival website with an online store (sadly, no overseas shipping) and are accepting donations (“throwing money”).
Speaking of Campus Records, they’ve been releasing a lot of great content on their YouTube channel so be sure to subscribe.
It was scheduled to take place on August 28 to 29 so many of us were happy to see the festival back on-track but on July 21 the organizers have decided to cancel it due to the pandemic. It’s sad to see it canceled again but it’s for everyone’s safety as the organizers felt that it would be difficult to take preventative measures. https://www.zentoeisa.com/news/21-151500.html
In the meantime, the film “Eisa Don Don” is still available for VOD on YouTube until August 31.
With news that the 66th annual Eisaa Festival may actually take place this year (it was canceled last year due to the pandemic), the special movie “Eisaa Don Don” was made available on YouTube until August 31st. Be sure not to miss it!
To commemorate the 65th anniversary of the All-Island Eisaa Festival (canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic), a drama special was shown on OTV on February 13th of this year. It looks like a must-watch drama and I love the part in the above trailer when it shows one of the drama’s themes: “We will protect our (eisaa) tradition” (伝統は俺たちが守ります). So the bad news is that the drama isn’t available to be streamed nor is there a physical copy on sale (a few of the YouTube comments are pleading for a DVD). OTV and Zentou Eisaa, please release the drama on YouTube!
3rd Eisa Drum Festival at Kapi’olani Community College on May 11th
A Celebration of Okinawan Culture with Drums, Lions, Music, and Karate
Kapi’olani Community College and the Office of Student Activities are pleased to present the third Eisa Drum Festival on Saturday, May 11 from 5:30 to 9 pm, on the Great Lawn (center of campus). The outdoor festival brings together ‘ono food prepared by Kapi’olani CC culinary program and the spectacular art form of taiko performed amid the beauty of Diamond Head under the stars. The program begins at 6 pm. The event is free and open to the public, with ample parking on campus.
Performers include Chinagu Eisa Hawai’i, Hawai’i Okinawa Creative Arts, Hawai’i Taiko Kai, Okinawa Shorin-Ryu Karate and Urizun Minyo Group. This year’s festival also features special guest performers from Okinawa, including Daiichi Hirata, acclaimed producer, choreographer, and musician, as well as members of Requios, the 2012 World Eisa Competition winner.
Eisa is a form of dance and drumming unique to the people of Okinawa. Originally performed as part of a religious function honoring those who have passed, modern Eisa is an exhilarating combination of singing, chanting, dancing and drumming. In Okinawa and Hawai’i, Eisa continues to be performed at Bon Dances. This year’s festival will feature contemporary styles of drumming, with Okinawan taiko, karate, lions, and contemporary folk music.
“The first two festivals have been described as ‘magical’ and we hope to continue that tradition in our third year,” said Shari Tamashiro, Kapi’olani CC Cybrarian, and one of the coordinators of the festival. “We’re also very pleased to have celebrity chef instructor Grant Sato and Kapi’olani CC’s famous culinary program managing the food booths.”
“The bringing together of Island People, Daiichi Hirata from Okinawa and Kawika Napoleon from Hawai’i, was so dynamic. . . it brought forth a sense of joy and pride from within,” said Dorene Niibu of Windard CC.
“When I think of Eisa Fest, I think of it as the first major event of the summer,” said Jonathan Wong, faculty member at Kapi’olani CC. “To me, it signals that summer is here and what better way to start the summer off with a bang than with drums, food, music and stars.”
Enjoy an evening under the stars. Bring lawn chairs to sit on, blankets, and jackets. Up to date information on program, schedule, parking, maps, and food items on sale will be posted at http://www.facebook.com/eisahawaii. Alcohol is strictly prohibited at the event.
Chinagu Eisa Hawaii is a local eisa drum group that I have been a fan of for some time. They perform a contemporary style of eisa. The symbol of the group is the kanji “kizuna,” which means strong emotional bonds. For the group, it represents the connection between generations of drummers, between Okinawa and Hawaii, between East and West, and the connection that you have with your culture as an individual.
The group formed in 2008 and first performed with their sister group, Naha Daiko of Naha City, at the 2010 Okinawa Festival and have sent students to train in Okinawa with them. Naha Daiko is a professional eisa group from Okinawa.
Saturday, September 8, 2012 (2:00pm and 6:00pm) at Mamiya Theatre
(via Shari T.)
WHAT? 2nd Eisa Drum Festival
WHEN? Saturday, May 12, 2012
TIME? 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm
WHERE? Great Lawn, Kapiolani Community College
Kapiolani Community College and the Office of Student Activities are pleased to announce that the 2nd Eisa Drum Festival will be held on Saturday, May 12, 2012 on the Great Lawn at the center of our campus.
Program will begin at 5:30 pm and conclude with a grand finale at 9 pm. Food sales will begin at 5 pm. The event is FREE and open to the public.
WHAT IS EISA? Eisa is a form of dance and drumming unique to Okinawa. The Eisa Drum Festival seeks to celebrate and develop an appreciation for this little known form of drumming in Hawaii. There will be a spectrum of Eisa, ranging from traditional dances to contemporary styles.
WHY IS THIS FESTIVAL SPECIAL? The festival will feature the largest gathering of Eisa drummers in Hawaii, all uniting for a spectacular grand finale. We hope to have over 100 performers all drumming together. There will be a gathering of the Shisa (Okinawan Lion Dogs).
There will also be a special guest performer. The acclaimed artist, choreographer, director, and one of my favorite performers Daiichi Hirata is traveling all the way from Okinawa to participate in Eisa Festival!
Performers include: Chinagu Eisa Hawaii, Hawaii Eisa Shinyuu Kai, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko, and the Young Okinawans of Hawaii with Paranku Clubs of Hawaii, Taiko Center of the Pacific, Urizun Minyo Group, and Kawika Napoleon.
Enjoy live music under the stars. Bring lawn chairs to sit on, blankets, and jackets. Parking is free. Alcohol is strictly prohibited. Parking Map of campus.
FOOD! The majority of the food on sale will be prepared by Chef Grant Sato and Chef Dave Hamada of KCC’s culinary program. Special desserts provided by the KCC Slow Food Club. There will be rafute, kabocha, miso eggplant, special bento, yakisoba, andagi and more! Check out the Okinawan sweet potato bread pudding and “Goya Popper.” Full list of items for sale and descriptions will be posted shortly at www.facebook.com/eisahawaii
Up-to-date information on program, schedule, parking, maps, and food items on sale will be posted at www.facebook.com/eisahawaii
The 1st Eisa Drum Festival was a truly magical event. We were blessed with amazing performances and an incredible crowd. To see videos and photos from the 1st festival, please visit: www.pigsfromthesea.com