CULTURE

Folk Music Bars

Okinawan folk songs are as much an Okinawan art form as Eisa. Okinawa City has produced numerous acclaimed Okinawan folk singers and composers and is widely known as the home of sanshin and song. Accordingly, there are plenty of dedicated fans living here, too. Okinawa folk bars came into being in response to people wanting to enjoy a drink while listening to Okinawan folk music. Even though famous singers such as the extremely popular queen of folk, Yoriko Ganeko, or the president of the Ryukyu Kingdom Folk Music Association, Koichi Kamiya, might be performing at a folk bar, it is the audience who are the stars of the show. It is not at all unusual for members of the audience to appear on stage – a feature which greatly adds to the fun.

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