Okinawa Sunrise

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Ryukyu Mura

Traditionally, it is very difficult to justify sitting around on a weekend or holiday in Okinawa. There is just so much to see and do and the weather is rarely bad enough to drive you back to a cozy couch, cup of tea and season six of the West Wing on DVD, much though you may want it to. Its made a little easier to shun the world around New Years since the Japanese are party like its 1999. Its apparently one time of year when Japanese restaurants, clubs etc will thumb their noses at American greenbacks and close to all but Japanese nationals.

We had a lovely new year with new friends and slept most of January first away. But there was no pooping out for the unexpected extra day off on the 2nd (is it wrong to say thank you President Ford:/)

We headed north about 40 minutes to Ryukyu Mura. Its a cultural village a la colonial Jamestown, Okinawa style. I highly recommend it and all of you that come to visit will likely not have a choice in the matter, you're going!

You've got to love any place that tries to ply your affections with booze the minute you walk in. Adrian sampled the native sake and I tried to talk him into the traditional massages and photos in native Ryukyu dress in the entry hall. Rebuffed on both counts.

As we toured the first houses, moved to the park and rebuilt only recenty, a parade started to form. An assortment of dancers, drummers, lords, ladies and a partridge in a pear tree lined up and marched up to a stage where a sucession of dances took place. Some slow, deliberate, geisha type dances as seen in picture two. Some loud and raucous with beating drums and whistling clowns, see image in next post! The whole thing ended with the audience joining in the "dance" (skipping about with hands waving). I avoided it until I made the mistake of ducking in and out of the crowd to catch a snap shot of an old woman balancing a full size wine bottle on her head and sashaying to the music. I caught up with her only to be dragged by force by this tiny woman of strength not often seen in a person of her years, into the mellee. Who can say know to a senior citizen who can mambo with an extra 5 pounds and 1 foot atop their gray head!


Blogger Ashley said...

Yeah, you really can't say No to a mambo-dancing, wine-bottle-atop-the-head carrying, little elderly woman of strength!

Looks like a blast!

10:00 AM  

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