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2011 Tiffany Foundation Award

Congratulations to the 2011 recipients of the Tiffany Foundation Award for the Preservation of Japanese Traditional Arts and Culture in Contemporary Society for their exemplary work preserving Japanese traditional arts at the national and regional community levels.

Amawari Roman Association—Taisho Award


The Amawari Roman Association (literally "The Dream of Amawari" Association) supports an annual theatrical production Kimutaka no Amawari, put on by more than 150 junior and senior high school students from Uruma City. By relating the local legend of Lord Amawari who ruled Katsuren Castle in the 15th century, this helps build pride among youth in their local heritage and culture, something that is especially important in a rural area where many young adults have been leaving due to limited opportunities. The theatrical program originally started in 1999 as a local government initiative and, later, it grew into a major community project in which students take leadership roles with the support of their parents and other local residents. In 2001, the Amawari Roman Association was created by parents and other community members to support planning and operation of the student theater production.

The production is based on a traditional Okinawan theater style called kumiodori, but with the addition of contemporary music and dance. Its high-quality performances attract large crowds from within and outside of the prefecture. The students also have performed nationally through Japan as well as internationally, including a special performance in Hawaii. Through the experience of taking part in the planning and performance of the Kimutaka no Amawari production the students become proud of their cultural heritage, develop connections to their own community, and nurture confidence and self-esteem.



Taiguruma Revival Project—Shinkosho Award


Taiguruma (a fish–shaped lantern on wheels) were once a common sight in the town of Maki, where children walked around town pulling the lanterns during the summer. It was a tradition that began in the late Edo period, however, Taiguruma completely disappeared from the community by the 1970s.

The Taiguruma Revival Project team is beginning to revive this once-lost tradition after the team leader—a college student at the time—created taiguruma for his graduation art project. The group regularly holds classes where local community members learn how to make taiguruma. In addition to reintroducing the tradition of children parading around with taiguruma to the community, the project also provides an opportunity for old and young generations to interact and strengthen community ties. The Taiguruma has now become a symbol of the community, and some businesses even use it as their logo or incorporate it into their merchandise.