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Parents who have tried to take their children on museum outings might recognize what a formidable challenge it can be to get them excited about traditional arts. Kijimuna Festa, a theater festival in Okinawa for children and young adults, was founded with this issue in mind.

The festival was born from casual beginnings in 1994 when local communities from across the island came together to find ways to promote culture, education and the arts to young people in a way that would educate and inspire them. Off-shoots continued locally for years before Kijimuna became as organized as it is today, with its official start being the summer of 2005. The festival’s philosophy is closely tied to the Okinawan spirit through the theme of “theater is nuchigusui (medicine for the soul).”

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