Juri-uma parade performed in Tsuji

<em>Juri-uma</em> parade performed in Tsuji

On March 1, at Tsuji in Naha, women danced juri-uma using a horse-shaped plate.


March 3, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

On March 1, or January 20 in the old lunar calendar, at Tsuji in Naha, one of New Year’s traditional events called hachika sogachi was organized by the Tsuji Shinshikai Foundation and other groups. Women who are Okinawan shaman or kaminchu visited places of worship in Tsuji, and prayed for business success and a good harvest. After that, women dressed in beautiful costumes made of bingata, Okinawan traditional resist dyed cloth, performed the juri-uma dance to pray to the gods as they jingled bells and yelled out “Yui yui.” History has it that the annual juri-uma parade provided an opportunity for women called juri, who worked in the entertainment area in Tsuji, a chance to be seen by their families. It is said that these women established a highly-developed social culture. The head of the event organizer Anmei Uezu, who is also a board member of the foundation, said, “We would like to pay tribute to the efforts and achievements of the women who developed the culture here.”

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

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