Eisa Drum Festival

Eisa Drum Festival

What: The 4th Eisa Drum Festival

When: Saturday, May 17, 2014

Where: Kapi’olani Community College Great Lawn Food sales begin at 4:30 pm. Program runs from 6 pm to 9 pm. Event is FREE and open to the public. Alcohol is strictly prohibited.

Tip: Bring lawn chairs and jackets!

Eisa is a form of dance and drumming unique to the people of Okinawa. It is an exhilarating combination of singing, chanting, dancing, and drumming. It originally had an important religious function of giving repose to the dead. In Okinawa and Hawaii, Eisa continues to be performed at Bon Dances. Today, some groups do traditional dances, while others experiment with contemporary styles. This year, we will showcase both traditional and contemporary styles of drumming, with the added bonus of karate and lions.

So join us on May 17th and spend an evening under the stars. Surrounded by the beauty of the KCC campus, you can eat Okinawan food and enjoy world class entertainment.

Local Performing Groups

Chinagu Eisa Hawaii, Hawai‘i Okinawa Creative Arts (Lions), Young Okinawans of Hawaii, Halla Huhm Studio, and Nu‘uanu Shorin Ryu Karate.

Special Guests from Okinawa Special guests this year will be Kajimaai, a contemporary eisa group from Itoman, Okinawa. Kajimaai won the 2011 Worldwide Eisa Festival competition. They specialize in Kobudo or the weapons of karate.

We are also honored to have Daiichi Hirata, the acclaimed chanter, poet, musician and producer, return to Hawaii.

GRAND FINALE WITH ALL PERFORMERS! Under the direction of the great Daiichi Hirata, we are going to have a really exciting grand finale with ALL of the performers on stage drumming together! Here is a look back at the 2013 Grand Finale:


  • Kapi‘olani Community College’s Culinary program will be offering bentos and plate lunches featuring rafute made by celebrity Chef Grant Sato. Chef Grant’s rafute is going to be made with belly pork! $5 Mini Bento (Yakisoba & Rafute). $7 Bento (Teri Chicken, Teri Beef, Hot Dog, Rice, Spring Roll, Potato Croquette). Bentos come with a bottle of water or canned beverage. $10 Plate Lunch (Three choices. All plates include a bottled water or canned beverage). Rafute, Teri Chicken or Combo. With Rice and Goya Namashi.
  • Taiko Center of the Pacific will be doing a pickup for their popular Two Ladies Kitchen Mochi fundraiser. Orders must be placed and payment sent in by May 11th for pickup at Eisa Festival.
  • Pig and the LadyModern French Vietnamese food.  Alex Le is thinking of bringing Taco Rice (with their twist on it), Pigs Feet Soup and Noodles, and the 12 hour Roast Brisket Banh Mi. However, their menu is not set yet.
  • Sweet Revenge: Made from scratch savory and sweet mini pies. Kathy is bringing Chicken pot pie, darkside (vegetarian pie), quiche, purple and white (okinawan sweet potato and haupia pie), s’more pie, black bottom banana cream, lilimansi pie (like a key lime pie but made with calamansi and lilikoi). She will also sell hot coffee and Nalo Lemonade (fresh lemonade made from local lemons).
  • Bonfire Pizza CompanyPizza made on location in a wood fired pizza oven.   Steven and Katrina will be offering the following pizzas: 1) “Okinawa in the House:” Okinawan Rafute with Local Sweet Potatoes, Local Sweet Onions; 2) Da ‘Shroom: Lots of Organic Waimānalo mushrooms with White Truffle Oil, Mozzarella, Marinara Sauce; 3) Italian Sausage & Black Olives; 4) Pepperoni; 5) Cheese; and 6) Pepperoni & Mushroom. They will have Fresh Lemonade and Plantation Iced Tea with Fresh Hawaiian Pineapple Juice.
  • No Ka ‘Oi Cookie CompanyHomemade baked treats made from the freshest and finest ingredients. Products are all natural with no preservatives and baked fresh daily.  Tiare is bringing Brownies (and Brownies Ala Mode), S’Mores (ala mode), brownies (and brownies ala mode), s’mores (ala mode), cookie ice cream sandwiches, old fashioned root beer floats and possibly butter mochi. Young Okinawans of Hawaii will be selling hot, fresh made andagi.

(image courtesy of Chris Kwok)

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