Monday, September 12, 2011

An Evening at Shuri Castle

Shuri Castle's famous Torii Gate
by Pa Rock
Cultural Explorer

This Saturday evening several friends and I went to a cultural presentation at Shuri Castle.  The ancient home of Okinawan royalty was decimated during World War II and has been completely rebuilt since the war.  The grounds are amazing, with lots of hand-carved stone work that fits together almost seamlessly.

A stage was put up in front of the castle entrance and several musicians and performers entertained the largely Okinawan crowd for over three hours.  It was a mixture of Okinawan music, dance, and a play - all of which are an important part of the island's cultural history.
Okinawan ladies welcome guests to Shuri Castle
Hats worn by some of the performers
One of the castle's Shisa Dogs guarding the
Some of the intricate stone work on the castle grounds

Some of my friends.
A story is unfolding.
A dancer.  The musicians are seated with backs
to the camera.

Somehow I wound up on the front row - right behind the musicians.  My photographs of the stage are necessarily contorted.  Sorry about that.

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