“The Ushibuka Haiya festival in the Ushibuka area of Amakusa, in Kumamoto Prefecture, takes place every April to the strains of the ‘haiya bushi’ folk melodies. The festival itself began some 200 years ago, when Ushibuka was an important harbor for sailing vessels carrying seafood. The ‘Ushibuka haiyabushi’ originates in the singing and dancing of the sailors and the women of the area. The ‘awa odori’ and ‘haiya’ melody folk music heard all over Japan is said to have its roots here.
‘Haiya’ takes its name from the south wind needed to sail north from this southern port.
Enjoy the rhythm of the ‘haiya bushi’ and the sprightly steps of its dance.”