Ryukyuan Dance is categorized into the following three kinds; “Classical Dance”, “Zo Dance”, and “Creative Dance”.
Classical Dance (Ukansen Dance) was developed during the Ryukyu Kingdom era to welcome and entertain the Chinese emperor’s envoys (Sappoushi, representative of the Chinese emperor) who came to the Ryukyu Islands with a letter of appointment to the king on the occasion of their coronation. Zo Dance was created between the Meiji and Showa era (mid 18th century ~ early 19th century). Creative Dance was developed after World War II and is still being created one after another to this day. Dancers enter from the left side and perform in the center of the stage. The themes are life, love, and celebration of a bountiful harvest. The beautiful costumes and props are also worth seeing. In September 2009, for its richness and prestige, Ryukyuan Dance was designated as a National Important Intangible Cultural Property.