"Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko literally translates to Ryukyu Kingdom Festival
Drums" (Endow). It is a modern dance that has become very popular. It is "modeled after the traditional Okinawan
obon festival drum dancing called eisa" (Endow). Kata from karate is blended with the drumming creating a "unique
and dynamic performance" (Akaoni). "The performers dance and drum simultaneously to an exciting blend of traditional
and contemporary Okinawan and Japanese music. The group performs with several types of drums: the odaiko (big drum),
which is suspended in front of the body by long pieces of purple cloth over the shoulder and back, the shime-daiko
(hand-held, flat, two-sided drum), and the paranku (hand-held, flat, one-sided drum)" (Endow).
I had the pleasure of interviewing Papa San, as he wished to be called,
an active parent of one of the drummers. He informed me about the significance of the performers costumes, particularly,
the women. For example: Their costumes are basic black, however they wear an obi or sash tied around their
waist. Separated by age groups, the pink obi indicates the youngsters, the gold is for juniors and the yellow obi is
for the seniors. The female performers adorn themselves with a hachimaki, or headband, and they all wear tabi's,
a split-toed shoe. The odaiko or drums are equivalent to the size of the performer, usually painted red,
and suspended around the performer's left shoulder by a long piece of purple cloth. The drumsticks used are called bachi.