Cornerstone of Peace Memorial: Seimei Festival to pray for war dead

Cornerstone of Peace Memorial: Seimei Festival to pray for war dead

People dedicating origami birds and praying at Okinawa Peace and Prayer Memorial Hall in Mabuni, Itoman on April 9.


April 10, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

On April 9, during the Seimei Festival, in which Okinawan people hold a memorial service for their ancestors, the fourth Cornerstone of Peace Memorial Seimei Festival for the souls of war dead whose names are engraved on the marble tablets at Mabuni was held at Okinawa Peace Prayer and Memorial Hall in Mabuni, Itoman. Organized by the Okinawa Association, the Festival was attended by approximately 400 people who prayed for the repose of the souls of those killed in the Battle of Okinawa.

People made offerings of Seimei Festival food in front of the Peace Prayer Statue, as they paid tribute to the war dead and prayed for lasting peace.

Fumiko Ikari, an Okinawan dialect radio newscaster, read out the message: “The wish for the world of the benevolent bodhisattva,” in the Okinawan dialect. Sachiko Kina, the head of the Shinyoryu-Kaki Society, performed some dedication dances including the Ryukyuan classical dance “Nnimajin.” Those attending also gave offerings of Ryukyu thread balls and origami birds.

Namiyo Higa, who came from Naha to the Festival with her two children, said, “With the East Great Japan Earthquake having happened recently, we came to the Festival to try to convey the value of life to our children.”

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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