About Kadena Town
Rich Local Culture - Kadena's rich heritage and cultural assets are the products of our forefathers' wisdom and industriousness and are highly valued in the fields of history, science, and art. Extensive research has to be done concerning the cultural assets of our town, a system to preserve them and to pass them on to our future generations has to be established, and awareness of the value of our heritage has to be promoted in order that we the townspeople can play an active role in preserving the local culture. In 1976, the Town of Kadena enacted the "Regulation for the Protection of Cultural Properties" to assure the research, discovery and protection of our cultural assets.
Senbaru, a section of Noguni Village of Chatan Magiri (a district consisting of the present-day towns of Kadena and Chatan), resided by 7 or 8 households, was founded circa 1800 by people who migrated from Shuri, Naha and the village of Kume. Around that period, 12 to 13 boys got together to perform their unique style of Eisa dance to honor their ancestors and to entertain of the villagers.
Yara no Ayagu
The Yara no Ayagu dance is said have been performed at Yara during mura-ashibi (social gatherings of young people from farming families) since the Meiji era (1868-1911). There are different versions of the Ayagu dances in many municipalities of the island of Okinawa, but it is usually performed by a group of men and women. At Yara, 6 to 18 couples supposedly performed the Ayagu. Also in Yara, there is a folk cultural asset called "Yara no Chinku."
The history of the Noguni Amakawa dance is said to have begun in the Meiji era when a group of volunteers from Noguni went down to Naha to learn the Amakawa from actors and taught it to the youth of Noguni. According to specialists in this field, this dance is the original form of the well-known Kanayo Amakawa dance and created by noted dance performer Tamagusuku Seiju during his years as an actor.
The Bojutsu (stick fighting) of Nozato, also called Ichimeidobo, was widely spread as a form of martial arts. A Bojutsu match between two martial artists is as thrilling as a fight using real swords. There are two types of Bojutsu: Hitoribo, performed by one person and Kumibo performed by two people. The stick comes in two lengths: the Rokushaku (approx. 6 feet) and Shakuhajiri or Sanshaku (approx. 3 feet). Before World War II, there were about 49 different types of Bojutsu but only 11 types remain now. There are three techniques of Hitoribo.