Bottle Mail

Ship of the Ryukyu is a theatre company of singers and dancers from Okinawa. Last night I went to see their performance of Bottle Mail (Message in a Bottle) at Tenbusu Hall, Naha. The one hour show is written and directed by Megumi Tomita and has already been performed to great acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, and in France at the Festival off d’Avignon.

The story depicts the small ancient kingdom of Ryukyu and how its people sent messages across the sea in bottles to make contact with the wider world and to tell people there about life on these islands. It’s no surprise that Bottle Mail was so well received in Europe as the entire show is full of warmth, energy and vitality.


Songs and dances are alternated with a video backdrop that tells the story with subtitles in Chinese and English. The performances, by just eight members of the collective, cover songs and dances from the Ryukyu court as well as the everyday lives of the people. Included are ‘Tanchame’ which is performed as a duet, ‘Kurushima Kuduchi’ from Yaeyama, and the cheerful work song ‘Inishiribushi’ plus the ever popular Eisa.


Bottle Mail can be enjoyed by anyone and by all ages. It was a great evening and managed to be both entertaining and informative at the same time. If you are in Okinawa and want to have your spirits lifted it’s still possible to see the show today (3rd December) or tomorrow (4th) when there are two afternoon shows at 13:00 and 16:00.

Explore posts in the same categories: Live in Okinawa

One Comment on “Bottle Mail”

  1. Travis Says:

    I already have tickets for Sunday. Looking forward to it!

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