As the art of taiko drumming continues to gain popularity throughout the world, the art of eisa, or Okinawan festival drumming, has also gained popularity. Though there are many eisa groups in existence, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko is perhaps one of the most internationally recognized for its fusion of odori (traditional dance) and karate movements.
Founded in 1982, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko has branches across Japan, North America, and South America. Since its formation in 1995, the Los Angeles branch has continued to perform for various occasions around the community. Some of our recent events include performances at the Dodgers and Clippers games. We have also continued to actively perform in local events such as the Monterey Park Cherry Blossom Festival and the Torrance Sister City Bunka-Sai.
Next year, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko – Los Angeles Branch is proud to celebrate 25 years of spreading the Okinawan spirit across Southern California. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we will be holding an anniversary concert entitled "Gajumaru -Shihanseiki no Sasae-" on Saturday, February 15th, 2020 at the James R. Armstrong Theatre in Torrance, CA.
Our show title Gajumaru stems from the gajumaru tree, also known as the banyan tree, a tree in Okinawa that is known for its strong support given from its several branches. The tree is also known for its long lifespan. We decided on this title to express appreciation for all the support our group has received in the past 25 years, as well as to illustrate our hope that the group lasts for many more years, like the strong gajumaru tree. The subtitle Shihanseiki no Sasae is a Japanese phrase that translates to “quarter-century of support” as another way to showcase our gratitude to everyone who has supported our group throughout this journey.
Our 20th anniversary concert Uchinaa Chimu Don-Don: Heartbeat of Okinawa held in October 2015 was a great success thanks to your generous donations. Our upcoming show will be another large undertaking and in order for it to be a success, we would like to once again kindly request your generous support. Donations will go toward the venue rental, costumes, and equipment to accommodate the overseas performers that will be joining us. In addition, any donations will also help to provide new drums and uniforms for our growing membership so that we can continue to spread the Okinawan culture and spirit across Southern California through our annual performances.
- Kitty Yan
- Dean Endow You’re welcome
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