London Okinawa Day
If you are in the UK next month it would be worth making your way to east London on Saturday 26th June for the London Okinawa Day event. It begins at 11:00 and goes on all day until 19:00. Included in the festivities will be performances of Ryukyu performing arts by a number of groups from the UK and Okinawa. There will also be Okinawan food stalls, displays of arts and crafts from the islands, an exhibition of photography, drawings and paintings, and information on travel and the history and culture of Okinawa. Admission to the event is free.
The London Okinawa Day builds on the success of last year’s Okinawa Music Day held at the Cafe Oto. The organising committee hope that this will become an annual event. Their Press Release says:
“Okinawa Day has now grown to a much bigger scale and found an exciting venue partner, Spitalfields, which has a vast experience of hosting very popular events such as the annual Spitalfields Music Festival and the Japan Matsuri in 2009. Even though we may have grown up, we continuously envisage our mission to promote Ryukyu culture in the UK and Okinawa. More importantly, we would like to make Okinawa Day a sustainable event each year in order to encourage a UK audience to participate in future Ryukyu events and to create a Ryukyu cultural hub in the UK.”
One of the official supporters of Okinawa Day is the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London. David Hughes is an Okinawan music enthusiast and retired Head of the Music Department at SOAS, and he can be seen performing ‘Nakuni’ along with Kanako Horiuchi in one of several interesting videos on the London Okinawa Day website, where more information can be found: