Kitsugan festival held in Kabira on Ishigaki City

Kitsugan festival held in Kabira on Ishigaki City

A vigorous three-man bojutsu kumite performance at Nnibushi Utaki in Kabira on Ishigaki Island on September 24.

October 1, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Kitsugan Festival organized to pray for a good harvest and perfect health for all in their region was held on September 24 at Nnibushi Utaki (a sacred place) in Kabira, Ishigaki City on Ishigaki Island.
These last three years, inclement weather at the time of the festival has seen it held at the Kabira Farming Village Settlement Center, but favorable weather this year meant that it could be held at its rightful venue of Nnibushi Utaki.

After kamitsukasa, or a type of flamen, worshiped in front of the altar, a person dressed as a maitreya danced together with the rest of the participants. One after another, young participants dedicated their performances to the gods. There were lively displays of bojutsu (staff-wielding) and lion dances accompanied by drums.

Two elementary-school pupils pitted themselves against a very large opponent in the three-man bojutsu kumite performance, which is unique to Kabira. The spectators were clearly impressed by the vigorous performance involving a giant man on one side and agile young pupils on the other. Local residents of Kabira Village and tourists alike enjoyed this year’s festival.

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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