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People doing kachāshī, at left a man is playing a sanshin

Kachāshī (カチャーシー), sometimes romanized as katcharsee, is a form of festive Okinawan folk dance. In Okinawa, it is often a feature of celebrations such as weddings and victory festivities after Okinawan wrestling matches and public elections. Traditionally, the dance is accompanied by the sanshin and drum, and often punctuated with finger whistling called yubi-bue (指笛).

The dance is executed with the hands in the air, palm flat for women and curled (or in fists) for men. The hands alternate in a pulling and pushing, up and down elliptical motion, one hand facing outward and up while the other is facing inward and down. The hand movements are notoriously difficult to execute without training. The steps are mostly improvised, but generally consist of a slightly bow-legged stance, alternately lifting and lowering the feet to the rhythm of the music.

Kachāshī dance songs[1][2]
  • Tooshin dooi (唐船どーい) ("A Chinese Ship Is Coming"), the most famous kachāshī dance song
  • Kaadikuuu (嘉手久), a courtship dance song
  • Atchamee-gwaa (アッチャメー小)
  • Amakawa bushi (天川節)
  • Hoonen ondo (豊年音頭)
  • Takoo-yama (多幸山)


  1. ^ 西角井, 正大 (1990) [1972]. Folk Songs of Okinawa (沖縄の民謡 Okinawa no minyō) (CD booklet). Tokyo, Japan: Victor Musical Industries.
  2. ^ Kaneshiro, Atsumi (1991). Music of Okinawa (南海の音楽・沖縄 Nankai no ongaku – Okinawa) (CD booklet). Tokyo, Japan: King Record Company.

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