Beenkuikui-ceremony for a good crop and perfect health
August 28, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo
On August 27, as a part of the Shinugu, a traditional festival in Oku, Kunigami Village, Beenkuikui, a ceremony unique to the village was also held. In the ceremony, young people placed the eldest person in the village on an uhi (tub) and paraded through the village, praying for a good crop and perfect health for all in their region.
Many people from the region and its Kyoyukai (a social organization for people from the same community who now live in an urban center far from home) took part in the ceremony.
While the Shinugu in Oku occurred over three days from August 25, the Beenkuikui was held only on the final day.
Eighty-six year-old Eishu Sakihara, a farmer who grows citrus fruits such as kabuchii, was the one on the tub this year.
After the end of the ushindeku, in which the women perform the dances, there were displays of karate and bojutsu (staff-wielding). Young people marched toward an open space called ashagima, beating their drums and shouting “Beenkuikui” and “Eiyaa-saa” as they went. The participants followed on behind them, praying for prosperity in the region.
Sakihara said, “The ceremony was a success. I hope that Oku goes on from strength to strength, and I want to live even longer yet to be part of that.”
(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey）
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