Art & Design

documentary film: “Drumming out a Message: Eisa and the Okinawan Diaspora in Japan” (75mins)

22 February 2014, London

The film explores the relationship between the experience of displacement and the construction of identity for Okinawans living in mainland Japan. Eisa is a form of dance performed in Okinawa during the summer ancestral festival, but when a tradition of performing eisa was newly established in Osaka in 1975, it was for completely different purposes. Young Okinawan workers, struggling to construct a positive identity in their geographical and cultural displacement, found in eisa a much needed outlet for self-expression that was suppressed in the presence of the mainland Japanese. The film tries to capture the voices of these young migrant workers from Okinawa and second-generation Okinawans who, through eisa, act on the derogatory images in mainstream culture, and at the same time transform themselves into individuals more resistant to the adversity created by such images.?

The film's creator, TERADA Yoshitaka of Japan’s National Museum of Ethnology, will answer questions after the film.  A “live” performance of Okinawan eisa dance will be held in the KLT foyer from about 2.40pm.  (See 18 February events for a related film on music and minorities in Japan.)



free admission, no charge, no advance booking

22 February 2014, 3.00pm
Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS Main Building, SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG


SOAS, University of London