Miminme festival held to pray for good crops

<em>Miminme</em> festival held to pray for good crops

On May 10, at the Furugen district of Ozato in Nanjo, miruku and people performed the michijune parade.

May 12, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

On May 10, or April 1 in the lunar calendar, in the Furugen district of Ozato in Nanjo, the miminme festival was held to pray for good crops and prosperity for the community. People walked through the streets for the michijune parade and those watching applauded the children who danced singing miminme shiyapu to a sanshin accompaniment.

The parade started from the house of the Teruya family at around 5:00p.m., going around four different locations including the Ashibina Sacred Garden.

At the head was a standard-bearer holding a flag featuring an image of a naginata or a long-handled sword to drive away evil spirits. He was followed by a miruku or maitreya, elderly men and women and then children. Participants performed a traditional dance and bojutsu (the art of using a stick as a weapon) at ashibimo or event square. In closing of the festival, miruku performed the kachashi dance with the ward chief, Ryozo Uehara.

On May 10, at Furugen district of Ozato in Nanjo, children performed dances.

Children from nursery schools and elementary schools dressed in colorful padded sleeveless kimono jackets sang and danced for the miminme. In their hands they held jinnaku or sticks with 5-yen-coins tied on them. Elementary school age boys performed the yuntanza dance and girls the suriagari dance. Runa Uehara, 9, said, “I practiced the dance for a month and really enjoyed it. I wasn’t at all nervous.”

The ward chief said, “Many, including children and older people, took part. The festival went smoothly. Our community will do well in future.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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