Okinawa Day 2024

London Okinawa Day 2024 at The Blue Market

London Okinawa Day is a yearly festival celebrating the unique music, food, and culture of Japan’s southernmost prefecture. Okinawa is one of a group of islands in Southern Japan that formed part of the historic Ryukyu Kingdom and as such has its own distinct music and traditions. Okinawa Day 2024 will feature traditional music, dance, and food from several islands of the Ryukyu archipelago to highlight its incredibly rich cultural diversity.

Okinawa Day 2024 Event Plan

Organised by London Okinawa Sanshinkai, the event will take place on Saturday 22nd June 2024 from 11am to 5pm at The Blue Market, London SE16 3UQ. Entry is free and everyone is welcome.

Food and Goods Stalls

Mingling with the Blue market’s regular traders will be stalls run by the London Okinawa Sanshinkai and other retailers, selling Okinawan Arts & Crafts. cuisine and food products.

Okinawa Day Running Order  

11:00 Kajadifu

11:05 London Okinawa Sanshinkai “Kariyushi” set

11:40 Nomura School of Ryukyu Classical Music

12:05 Okinawa Tourism

12:15 Eisa Workshop

12:35 Amami Folk Music

13:00 Paris Sanshin Club “Yuyanaure” set

13:35 Okinawan Karate Gojyu Ryu /Meibukan

14:05 Eisa Traditional Dancing

14:30 Amami Folk Music

14:55 London Okinawa Sanshinkai / Paris Sanshin Club “Mo Ashibi” set

15:55 Yaeyama Music

16:30 Eisa Traditional Dancing Finale

How to get there

  • Buses: 1, 381, P12
  • Underground: Bermondsey Train: South Bermondsey Overground: Canada Water
  • Santander dock stations on Southwark Park Road and Clements Road
  • Bicycles parking available
  • Santader bike stations

About London Okinawa Sanshinkai

London Okinawa Sanshinkai was formed in 1999 at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) by academics specialising in Ryukyu Classical Music and Yaeyama Folk Songs studies. Since then, the group has been disseminating Okinawan music, dances and culture through a variety of activities and performances not only in the UK but also in other European countries. At the centre of these activities is the annual “Okinawa Day”event. There have been many events in London over the years introducing traditional Okinawan culture most notably, the Rinken Band’s performance in Hyde Park, Sonda Eisa’s performance at the Thames Festival, and recitals by Kise Shinjin(Master of the Nomura School of Ryukyu Classical Music).

In June 2009,London Okinawa Sanshinkai and Okinawa Kenjinkai (The UK Okinawan Association) organised an event called “Okinawa Matsuri” at Café Oto in North East London. The date was chosen in commemoration of Okinawa Memorial Day which is annually observed around 23 June.

Since 2010, the event has been held under its new name “Okinawa Day” with the aim of expressing gratitude to songs and music, referencing the concept of a Day of Song (Uta no hi) by the famous Okinawan band, BEGIN. Moving its location to Spitalfields in East London, the event grew on a bigger scale, attracting an audience of 8000 in June every year. Following a 2-year break due to the pandemic, “Okinawa Day” had a successful second start in September 2022 in a new location; The Blue Market in South London. The Blue Market, built with a unique architectural style focusing on sustainability and community, epitomised by its iconic central clock tower, is the perfect location to host Eisa drumming and dancing performances.

After a successful 2023 event, Okinawa Day returns to The Blue for another fantastic day out of Japanese music, dance and food.

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