Mortuary tablet of Confucius returns to Kume after 69 years
June 16, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo
On June 15, the Kume-soseikai held an inauguration ceremony for the New Kume Confucian Temple in the Kume district of Naha. They carried out a parade to move the mortuary tablet of Confucius from the temple at Wakasa to the new temple.
The Kume-soseikai is an incorporated association set up in 1914 by Chinese descendents known as the “Thirty Six Families of Kume.” In the morning before the ceremony began, they moved the mortuary tablets enshrined in the temple of Wakasa to the new temple. About 150 people walked through the city to the sound of firecrackers. The mortuary tablets have come back to their original place in Kume for the first time in 69 years since the Kume temple was destroyed in the Battle of Okinawa.
The main gate of the temple, which is normally closed, was open so as to welcome to the mortuary tablet and parade of people. Students of Uenoyama Junior High School bearing a banner led the parade.
Standard-bearers of the Kume and Kumoji Youth Groups and the Wakasa Chimudondon Drum Group also took part in the parade. The members of the Soseikai in formal dress form gave a solemn atmosphere to the event. Those of his distinguished disciples, including Yan Hui, Zengzi, Zisizi and Mencius, as well as the mortuary tablet of Confucius, were also transferred to their original place.
Mitsuji Kamimura, the president of the Soseikai said, “The dream of Kuninda-chu (Kume people) has come true. We have been able to restore the Confucian Temple that was destroyed during the war to its original location.”
In the afternoon, Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima and Naha mayor Takeshi Onaga attended the dedication ceremony held at the New Kume Confucian Temple.
(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)
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