Ryukyuan Dance (Yotsutake)
It is said that in the past, whenever a new Ryukyuan king was born, the Chinese emperor would dispatch a special envoy called a “sakuhoshi” to Ryukyu to bestow a crown upon the new king. The ship that carried the crown was called an “Okansen,” and a special dance called the “Okansen Odori” would be performed for the visiting envoy. This dance has been passed down through the ages and forms the basis for traditional Ryukyuan dance. The “Yotsutake” dance, which features vibrant costumes made of traditional dyed Okinawan cloth as well as graceful choreography, is considered the most elegant of the traditional dances.