Notice of Cancellation of Eisa Night 2020 and the 65th Okinawa Zento Eisa Matsuri (All-Island Eisa Festival)

We would like to express our sincerest gratitude for your continued support of the Okinawa Zento Eisa Matsuri (All-Island Eisa Festival) Executive Committee.

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have made the painful decision to cancel Eisa Night 2020, which was scheduled to begin in June, and the 65th All-Island Eisa Festival that was scheduled to be held from September 11 to 13 this year.

Preparations were underway for both Eisa Night 2020 and the 65th All-Island Eisa Festival. However, with the nationwide spread of COVID-19, and in light of the fact that at this time there are no effective measures to prevent the spread of infection in a crowded environment, nor can we determine when the spread of infection will end, our top priority is the health and safety of the many people who come to the festival to enjoy Eisa, as well as everyone involved with Eisa Night and the All-Island Eisa Festival.

Eisa is not just a performance held during the Summer season―it is a traditional performing art of consolation for the repose of the dead during Okinawa’s lunar Bon Festival. Unique to each region of the prefecture, the powerful and graceful dance forms of Eisa, which attracts so many people, is the pride of Okinawa.

What is the Eisa dance in Okinawa?

Beginning as an Eisa competition, the All-Island Eisa Festival has been held every year since 1956, and has grown into one of the largest Eisa festivals on Okinawa, attracting a total of 300,000 spectators during the event.
This is the first time in sixty-five years that this historic festival has been cancelled. However, starting from the point of preparations to the day of the event, we were unable to eliminate the risk of the spread of COVID-19 due to the large number of people who will gather for the festival.

We, the Executive Committee, will continue to strive for the succession and development of Eisa culture, regional revitalization, and the healthy development of the youth. We will move forward to make preparations so that the next festival will be filled with powerful Eisa dance and the enthusiasm of many spectators.
In conclusion, we would like to express our sincerest gratitude to all those who worked hard to make this year’s festival a success, as well as to everyone who planned to participate, and everyone involved, and ask for your continued understanding and cooperation.