The Japanese island of Okinawa, famed for its inviting clear seas, friendly population and fascinating history becomes the subject of celebration as Okinawa Day returns to Spitalfields on Saturday for a family-friendly cultural festival.
Formerly known as the ‘Ryukyu Kingdom’, the rich culture of Okinawa will be showcased with folk music accompanied by traditional Eisa folk dancing. There will be multi martial arts demonstrations, including karate, which famously originates from there (the film Karate Kid didn’t lie to you about that).
Ryukyu, having historically formed links with its Asian neighbours, offers uniquely developed cuisine and customs exclusive to the archipelago, including the Buku Buku Tea ceremony – a roasted rice tea with jasmine and smashed peanut, topped with a white bubbly foam – said to have come from China. There will be food vendors with pastries and other delectable edibles, in addition to arts, crafts and other Okinawa-only goods.
Fancy packing up and heading to the destination itself for some snorkelling, Orion Beer and Blue Seal Ice Cream after all that? Then Okinawa Tourist Information and Japanese tour operators will be on hand to help you out.
Okinawa Day is on Saturday 22 June from 11am-6pm under the canopy and in Bishop’s Square, Spitalfields, Brushfield Street E1 6AA. Entry is free.