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Kumiodori

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Ever-evolving Okinawan Opera: Kumiodori

Kumiodori is a performance with songs and dances which was created to entertain Chinese envoys (called ‘sapposhi’) in the early 18th century by Chokun Tamagusuku, who was the government official in charge and who in modern times would be considered the producer.

 

More than 70 works have been created based on the history of Ryukyu and old folklore. Kumiodori is a national intangible cultural asset alongside noh and kabuki, and it is inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. As one of Japan’s classical performing arts, kumiodori welcomes and entertains people from all over the world.  

How are you

Two-child katakiuchi

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Two-child katakiuchi

One of the fifth Kumi Odori by Tamagusuku Chokai. Also known as "Gosamaru Enemy", it deals with the historical facts of the great incident "Gosamaru / Amawari no Hen" in the 15th century.

 

Gosamaru's bereaved child, Tsurumatsu and Kamechiyo, heads to Katsuren to avenge Amawari of Katsuren Castle, his father's death.

 

The story is about dressing up as a dancer, approaching Amawari, and taking revenge.

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Kaneiri

Obsession

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On the way to Shuri Oufu, a young boy named Nakashiro Wakamatsu stays overnight in a house in the middle of the sun.

The woman at the inn invites Wakamatsu as an opportunity, but Wakamatsu rejects it, escapes from the woman's positive actions, and asks Sueyoshi's temple for help.

 

The woman who has a feeling of urgency turns into a demon and chases Wakamatsu and appears at the temple.

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Photo gallery

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Chant

One of the characteristics of Kumi Odori is that the way the lines are chanted differs depending on the character and class.

Another major feature is that the pitch of the dialogue is based on the same height as the tuning of the sanshin.

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Click here for other traditional Okinawan performing arts