Calling out Hoi to ward off evil spirits ― Satiparo held in Miyakojima

Calling out Hoi to ward off evil spirits ― Satiparo held in Miyakojima

In the afternoon of January 17 at Uenonobaru in Miyakojima, with pantu at the head of the parade, women and children walked around the area driving off evil spirits.


January 18, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On January 17 at Uenonobaru in Miyakojima, a traditional ritual called satiparo was held. With children wearing masks and performing as a visiting deity pantu in the lead, wrapped in vines, women carrying yabunikkei twigs in their hands walked around the community and drove away evil spirits. The satiparo ritual was designated as a significant intangible folk cultural asset in 1993. The event is held on the last day of the ox of every December of the old calendar. Adult males don’t take part, but females and children do.

At around 5:30pm, women and children gathered at an old well and departed at approximately 6:00pm. Calling out “hoi, hoi,” the women beat the bundles of yabunikkei together and walked through the community. At intersections, they surrounded children and exorcised evil from them.

A fifth-grade pupil at Ueno Elementary School, Yota Kudaka, who performed pantu for the first time said, “It was fun to parade wearing the mask.” Junko Shimajiri said, “I was relieved when it was over. I hope that I can take part again in future.”

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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