Discover traditional Okinawa theater on Oct. 19

Discover traditional Okinawa theater on Oct. 19

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

Kumiodori is a form of traditional Okinawan theater and performance art. Its mix of spoken word, music and dance dates back to the early 18th century, when it was created to entertain Chinese envoys during their visits to Ryukyu Kingdom for coronations.

Some of the first programs date back to King Sho Kei’s enthronement in 1719, according to National Theatre Okinawa.

It has been 300 year since then and today, the classic performance art is starting a new chapter.

“Shushin Kaneiri,” one of the original programs of Kumiodori will be presented at the national theater near Camp Kinser on Saturday, Oct. 19. English audio guides will be available, so a broader audience can enjoy this UNESCO-designated art form. The show will be presented with lyrics, music and dance in classic styles to tell the story about a woman whose strong attachment to a man turns her into a demon.

A Kumiodori adaptation of Cinderella will also be performed prior to the classic program to add more diversity to the performing art.

Kumiodori is one of Okinawa gifts to the world and, as such, in 2010, it was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Take the opportunity and witness the internationally-renowned art of Okinawa.


Where: National Theatre Okinawa
When: Saturday, Oct. 19. 2 p.m.
GPS Coordinates: N 26.246443, E 127.688635
Cost: 2,100 yen (adult, approx. $20); 1,600 yen (group discount); 1,000 yen (High School Students and below)
*MCCS Tours+ provides a tour to this event.
*All seats are-reservation based. 
*For reservation or info, visit box office at National Theatre Okinawa Ticket Counter (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) or call 098-871-3350 (10 a.m. – 5: 30 p.m.)  
Tickets are also available at Confetti:

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