Art & Design

Ship of the Ryukyu Edinburgh Fringe Double Bill

14 - 26 August 2013, Edinburgh

Ship of the Ryukyu is a collective of singers and dancers from Okinawa, and is an official project of the Okinawa Prefecture. The aim of the company is to introduce the world to Okinawa’s distinctive culture by showcasing the best performing arts from the region.


The Ryukyu - Contemporary

A story from Island of Okinawa told through classical dance and folk music


The Ryukyu - Contemporary, directed by Tatsuya Yasuda, is a lively show blending contemporary music with traditional Ryukyu dance and martial arts. The story of Furusato (‘homeland’) is an inspiring tale of love, hardship and hope in a performance that fuses old and new, in a bold production for all the family.


On the island of Ryukyu, now known as Okinawa Island, there is a small, peaceful fishing village. Every day the men from the village bravely go to sea - until one day a typhoon hits the island, causing devastation. Through traditional folk songs and dance, the village recovers from the typhoon and peace is restored.


One young fisherman from the village dreams of travelling far from the island to teach the world the special songs of his homeland. A young village girl gives him the courage and determination to realise his dream and, with the strength of the island and the love of his village burning in his heart, the young man sets sail into the world.

The production also features unique Okinawa Eisa dance and powerful Karate performances, as well as live and recorded music.


Admission: 4.50 - 10.50


The Ryukyu - Classic


Traditional Okinawan dance meets dark storytelling in a tale about a young nobleman, demons and monks


The Ryukyu - Classic is a rare chance to experience classical Okinawan Kumiodori dance drama, a combination of dance, music and literature. This performance is a must-see show for fans of Japanese traditional dance and music.


Telling the story of Shushin Kaneiri, one of the most famous Kumiodori written, Wakamachi -a handsome young nobleman - who finds himself lost in a forest. As night falls, he stumbles upon a house where he asks to stay the night. In the house lives a woman who at first refuses to let him in, yet after he pleads with her she eventually lets him stay. That night, the woman enters Wakamachi’s room and transforms into a demon, chasing Wakamachi into the forest. Eventually he finds safety in a temple, where the monks hide him in the temple bell.


Kumiodori is a classical form of dance from Okinawa and was originally developed to entertain visiting Chinese diplomats by Chokun Tamagusuku (1684-1734), the Odori-Bugyo (Dance Officer) of the Ryukyu Dynasty who was responsible for court entertainment. Shushin Kaneiri (meaning ‘possessed by love, thwarted by the bell’) was written by Tamagusuku and is strongly influenced by Noh Theatre.


Admission: 4.50 - 10.50

The Ryukyu - Contemporary: 14th - 20th August 2013 14:30

The Ryukyu - Classic: 21st - 26th August 2013 14:30

C venue +3, Adam House, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1HR

Ship of the Ryukyu