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Eisa Drum Festival on May 14

May 5th, 2011 by Ryan Ozawa · 2 Comments · Events, Family, Music

Photo by Reid ShimabukuroLovers of Okinawan drums won’t want to miss the first Eisa Drum Festival next Saturday at Kapiolani Community College. This special, evening event is bringing together several groups that practice and perform a variety of dances and drumming styles unique to Okinawa… plus a touch of Japanese taiko.

Participating eisa groups are Chinagu Eisa Hawaii, Hawaii Eisa Chimugukuru Daiko Hawaii, and the Young Okinawans of Hawaii. , together representing both traditional and contemporary styles of drumming. Special guests include Kenny Endo’s Taiko Center of the Pacific and the Paranku Clubs of Hawaii. After a magical evening of performances, running from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the eisa groups and the taiko troupe will unite in an exciting finale.

The event will also feature live music by Urizun Hawaii, Derek Fujio, Norman Kaneshiro, Derek Ichiro Shiroma, and Richie Yamashiroya, and an appearance of the Shisa (“Lion Dogs”).

And yes, there will be food and drink, and lots of free parking. There will also be activities for kids, and Okinawan items for sale.

But that’s not all! The festival will also host what is being described as Hawaii’s largest paranku drum gathering ever. Indeed, it is hoped that dozens of keiki will be part of a special performance that will ultimately bring over 100 drummers onto the field. Anyone interested in participating should email

The drum festival will take place on the Great Lawn at KCC, as the college’s 2011 Commencement Concert. The event is organized by the college’s Office of Student Activities through Shari Tamashiro. For the latest information, visit the official website at or call (808) 734-9576.

Video Extra

Recently, representatives of the various groups came together to rehearse for the grand finale. Here’s a look behind the scenes, courtesy Shari… though obviously on May 14, the big finish will be considerably more robust!

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Shari Tamashiro

    Haitai Ryan! Just confirmed that five Shisa lions will gather for the event. There will be piping hot andagi and fresh strawberry mochi from two ladies kitchen and other delicious foods!

    The drummers have been hard at work coordinating for the big finale. Here is a more “robust” sneak peek to the event. :) Video taken a couple practices ago.

  • Ryan

    Thanks, Shari! Updated the video in the post!

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