“Legend of Hagoromo” Opera (PHOTOS)

“The Legend of Hagoromo”
Kageki (opera) by Ship of the Ryukyu
James R. Armstrong Theatre (Torrance, California, U.S.A.)
February 9, 2013

The Ship of the Ryukyu’s The Legend of Hagoromo was a success! Last Saturday, the James R. Armstrong Theatre in Torrance was almost filled with Uchinanchu and Uchinanchu-at-heart (approx. 320 attendees), many of whom had nothing but positive things to say about the performances! The young cast, dancers, and musicians from Okinawa put on an emotionally moving kageki (opera), which was preceded by a set of 7 traditional and popular dances. The dialogue and songs were entirely in Uchinaaguchi (the Okinawan language) with English subtitles projected above the stage.

Synopsis [taken from the program]:

“A long time ago, a celestial woman wearing a beautiful robe came down to a vilalge in old Ryukyu (Okinawa). Okuma, a man who lives in the village, accidentally found her. He fell in love with this beautiful woman at first sight. Being so desperate to keep her on the ground, Okuma hid her celestial robe, which she needed to go back to the sky, and the woman lost the means to go back to her world. She decided to live with Okuma and they became a couple eventually. They were blessed with two children and lived happily, until a sudden misfortune hit them. The lullaby which Miyami, the older sister, was singing for Satto, her younger brother, had the lyric about the place where the robe was hidden. The celestial woman, who now was a mother of two, cried in tears but she was destined to go back now that she knew where the robe was. One of her children, Satto, became the King of Old Ryukyu with the virtue of the celestial woman. Okuma, who now became an old man, visits the fountain of pine tree where they met every day to remember his beloved wife.”

Celestial Goddess: Aki Chinen
Okuma: Shinji Kinjo
Miyami: Natsu Janado
Satto: Aika Fukunaga

Song and Sanshin: Hideki Hanashiro and Dai Taira
So: Chisaki Nakadai
Flute: Mariko Sawai
Kokyu: Asako Nishiyama

[Theatre Staff]
Director: Sayuki Iraha
Theatre Director: Takayuki Inomata
Acoustics: Hisashi Tomiyama
Lighting: Sadao Kakazu
Video and Photo: Joseph Yoshimasu Kamiya

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