Viewing of performance recordings and a lecture

“Karakuri Hanabi (fireworks using mechanical devices) in Ryukyu and Early Modern Japan”

The Ryukyu Kingdom had its own "karakuri hanabi". Out of the five varieties of karakuri fireworks documented in the 1866 "Hibanahou Nikki (Diary of the Fireworks)" by the Sho family, the Theatre has restored and revived four.

This lecture will cover the following: "Handmade Fireworks at Kami-Seinaiji" in Nagano Prefecture and “Karakuri Rope Fireworks at Hitokotonushi Shrine" in Ibaraki Prefecture, both traditions stretching back to the Edo period. Through stories and videos, we will highlight similarities and differences in karakuri techniques, as well as the skills and creativity of early modern pyrotechnicians.

The session will conclude with a demonstration of the fifth Ryukyu karakuri fireworks, "Tamabi," currently in the process of restoration. The demonstration will take place in the park next to the theatre.



Date: February 15, 2024 (Thursday)

Lecture begins at 6:00 p.m. (Doors open at 5:15 p.m.)

Venue: Small Theatre, National Theatre Okinawa

Admission: Free

Capacity: 200 people (reservation required)

Now accepting reservations!

[Inquiries] National Theatre Okinawa, Planning and Production Department,

Research and Documentation Section (3F): 098-871-3318

(Office hours: Mon-Fri 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.)



Lecture and video: Handmade Fireworks at Kami-Seinaiji, Shimoina-gun, Nagano Prefecture

Lecture and video: Karakuri Rope Fireworks at Hitokotonushi Shrine, Joso City, Ibaraki Prefecture

Symposium: Fireworks in Modern Times

Demonstration by restoration

Ryukyuan Karakuri Fireworks "Tamabi" at lawn area, Kumiodori Park

*In the event of rain or other circumstances that prevent a demonstration, a video will be shown.


Please note that the program is subject to change or cancellation due to unavoidable circumstances.