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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Valuable Okinawan Dance Photo





A lady in the background of the tent is holding a US flag
Performance was held with live musician.


My Karate sensei gave me this old black-and-white Okinawan dance photo yesterday at his New Year's party. It is quite interesting to see this photo, which tells so much of Okinawan history itself.

A white paper written in Japanese attached to the back of this photo notes: the photo was supposedly taken shortly after the end of WWII, when a Lt. Hanna created three theater groups called Matsu, Take, and Ume Geki Dan (松劇団、竹劇団、梅劇団) in order to restore Okinawan traditional performing arts and activities at the U.S. Army camp. The Matsu (evergreen tree) theater group performed in the Northern region, the Take (Bamboo) Theater group performed in the Central region, and the Ume (Plum) theater group performed in Southern region of Okinawa.  The performance space (stage) was called "Kaba-ya" and was inside a plastic tent from the U.S. Army. Many similar tents were used all over the main island of Okinawa during this period.

I have not seen this kind of old dance photo in the past, and I conducted my own research this morning and found that the GrandMaster of Miyagi Ryu Ryukyu Dance School, who originated the Miyagi Ryu School in Okinawa after WWII, was a member of the Take Theater Group.

Finding this piece of Okinawan history.  I then found that the female character in this photo (in a dance piece called "Kanayo Amaka," a pair dance belonging to the Zo odori genre, created during Meiji era) is the late Grand Master of Miyagi Ryu, Nozo Miyagi, and the male character is Kosho Oyadomari.


It is very interesting me to have this kind of old photo, indeed.

Here is the Japanese document I found in Zoku Tokeshi No Ayumi (History of Tokeshi in Yomitan village): the following notes are copied from 沖縄県読谷村渡慶次字誌。

第3節 「知花※※メモ」に見る読谷沖映での上演演目

はじめに

 本稿は、題名にあるように新たに見つかった資料による読谷沖映(字波平37番地の旧役場前にあった劇場で、読谷劇場がその前身)での「上演演目」を「知花※※メモ」から紹介することを目的としている。
 本論に入る前に、終戦直後から1952年頃までの、県内でのウチナー芝居をめぐる歴史を概観しておこう。(『沖縄大百科事典』―沖縄タイムス社刊を参照)
 
1 官営劇団の創設と解散
 
 沖縄諮詢会文化部は、1946年(昭和21)初め、住民の慰安を目的に松・竹・梅の3つの官営劇団を創設し、本島各地を巡回公演させた。俳優は、戦前からの役者を中心にしたが、「沖縄民政府文化部技官」の待遇で、後に「芸能者資格審査」を合格した人々も加えられた。入場料は大人2円、小人1円(新日本円)で、どこでも大入り満員で、沖縄戦で悲嘆のどん底にあえいでいた住民の慰安と力づけに大きな役割を果たした。
 松劇団の団長は島袋※※、座員には鉢嶺※※、親泊※※、比嘉※※らがおり、後に上間※※、玉城※※、大見謝※※、真喜志※※らが加わった。沖縄本島の中頭地区を巡回公演した。
 竹劇団の団長は平良※※、副団長が宮城※※で、団員には上間※※、新垣※※、親泊※※、大宜見※※、宇根※※、小那覇※※、浜元※※らがいた。本島北部地区を担当し、名護、本部、恩納、国頭、今帰仁、金武、東、久志等の各地を巡回公演した。
 
040235-竹劇団

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