Okinawan Music and Hula Dancing!

Last night I mentioned on Twitter (if you’re not following me, click here to get my updates) that I had attended a great event at Tokyu Resort here in Miyakojima (an island south west of Okinawa) and would be posting some videos. Well, here they are! I took more videos, but these are the only ones that came out decent enough to post.

As you can tell from the video, Okinawa’s culture is very distinct from that of Japan. If I had to describe it, I would say it is almost a mix of Chinese and Japanese culture. I fell In love with Okinawan music and dance the first time I visited here several years ago and it is still my favorite type of Japanese music.

The instrument in the last video is the sanshin, a three stringed banjo like instrument of Okinawa. I have recently started learning to play the sanshin myself and will post some videos once I get a little better. (it could be a while ;).

As a note, for those who might have difficult making out the Japanese words in Okinawan music, don’t worry about it. The language here can be quite different sometimes. The music is beautiful, but not the best for learning Japanese.

Traditional Okinawan dancing and drumming to a slightly modern song

A more traditional song and beat

Hula dance performed to “Nada Sou Sou” played on the sanshin and piano