Quichar Paradise is a Okinawa’s music and dance school in Japan and we are managing approximately 100 culture schools in mainly Tokyo, Osaka and Toyama area in Japan.
Quichar Paradise was established by Mr. Mitsumasa Nakamoto in 1996, in order to popularize music and dances in Okinawa to all over Japan. Mr. Nakamoto was born in Miyako-Jima, which is one of three major areas in Okinawa. Other two are Okinawa Main-Land and Yaeyama. He is one of top folksong’s and Sanshin’s masters and he has trained young singers and players for the past two decades. He is also a craftsman of Sanshin (Japanese banjo).
“Quichar” is a folklore handed down in Miyako-Jima and the people sing and dance with Quichar altogether at a celebration. Quichar Paradise means “Be Happy Anytime”, named by Mr. Nakamoto because he wishes we be happy in any cases. We usually dance “Quichar” at the end of our performance with audience.
Our songs and dances tell of many folklore tales and beliefs such as tragic love stories, harvest celebrations and driving out evil spirits. Many of dances represent cultural expression from over 400 year ago. One performance is the famous dance of the ancient Okinawan Royal Court where performers wear big hats called “Hanagasa” and hold castanets made from bamboo.
In addition, we perform Eisa which is songs and dances for a ceremony to pray for the rest and peace of Okinawa people’s ancestors. We also have many traditional dance songs. We play traditional musical instruments to accompany our performances: the Shinobue (bamboo flute), Kane (bell), Parlanqoo (small drum), Shime-daiko (medium drum), O-daiko (big drum) and Sanshin (similar to a banjo). The costumes worn for our dances include traditional old-style Kimonos, formal wear and Uchikake: a yellow based colorful gown with tropical flowers and birds.