Wedding ceremony held at Zakimi Castle
Vows exchanged at a World Heritage Site
October 20, 2011 Ryota Shimabukuro of Ryukyu Shimpo
On October 1, the wedding of Naha residents Naoyuki and Kae (née Takemura) Matsuda was held at Zakimi Castle, which is a World Heritage Site. The couple and their parents dressed in Ryukyu Dynasty traditional costume and together with Mitsuo Higa, the head of Zakimi Ward, they went to a place of worship in the castle to announce their marriage. The bride and groom prayed for good health and wellbeing for themselves, their family and friends who had come to attend the ceremony. After the prayers, the guests celebrated the couple’s new start.
Naoyuki and Kae Matsuda are from Tokyo and Hokkaido, respectively. Both love Okinawa, and have worked here. They met through a mutual friend. When Kae worked at a hotel in Yomitan, they often visited Zakimi Castle to go on walks, so on the suggestion of mutual friend Takiro Kinjo, that is where they decided to hold their wedding.
In what is called a michijune, the newly-weds paraded down the street from Zakimi Castle to Shima-maruminu-kawaraya, a traditional Ryukyuan house located near the castle. The couple smiled when their friends told them, “You look like someone important,” and “How beautiful you are!” At Shima-maruminu-kawaraya local residents performed a Ryukyuan dance and played the sanshin for the happy couple.
Shinji Satake, who works at a kimono dressing shop that has organized a course for people to walk dressed in Ryukyuan traditional costume, helped to plan the marriage ceremony with Kinjo. He said, “I thought that there must be something that I can do taking advantage of the wonderful cultural assets of Zakimi Ward. In conjunction with local residents, in future I want to think about producing a resort wedding package at the World Heritage Site.”
(English Translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)
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