Eisa Terminology

添付画像 ■Jiutai
Also called the jikata, it is the most important role in eisa. Although it varies by region, most of them wear hats made of Chinese fan palms decorated with artificial flowers and play the sanshin guitar. They are selected from former Seinenkai members and other older residents in the region.
添付画像 ■Sake Katamiya
Among the chondara, there are those who carry a big sake barrels in pairs. It is said that in the past, they used to visit door to door receiving gifts of sake for the Seinenkai, instead of the monetary donations they receive now.
添付画像 ■Chondara
Also called the chogina or sanra, they wear chonmage wigs of braided palm and paint their faces with whimsical makeup, dancing comically around the other performers. Despite their humorous appearance and silly moves, they actually play an important role in keeping the formation of the performers in order, and keeping their spirits high.
添付画像 ■Hatagashira
Those carrying tall flags bearing the name of the performing group and leading the eisa groups at eisa events and festivals are called hatagashira. They balance the heavy flag pole by lowering their hips and swinging the flag up and down in rhythm.
添付画像 ■Paranku
This small hand drum that is leathered on one side makes a distinctive dry sound. The paranku drummers dance in a variety of formations with remarkably delicate, elegant moves.

添付画像 ■Odaiko (Large Barrel Drum)
Paranku eisa and shimedaiko eisa are always led by groups of odaiko that sharpen the overall sound. The odaiko drummers are regarded as experienced leaders of the group, who have a deeper understanding of the general flow of the performance.
添付画像 ■Te-odori (Hand Dance)
Eisa used to be a dance consisting mainly of male hand dancers. After the end of WWII, eisa contests began to be held in different locations which saw the introduction of female hand dancers. Today, there still are groups consisting of only male dancers.
添付画像 ■Shimedaiko (Medium-Sized Drum)
The dynamic movements recoiled by the weight of the shimedaiko, and the captivating, resonant sound draw the audience into the performance. Often accompanied by lively, up-tempo melodies, the dance is choreographed with circle and row formations.
Seinen (Youth) Furusato Eisa Festival Executive Committee (Okinawa Prefectural Seinendan Council)
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