Prayer for rain comes true in Kumejima

Prayer for rain comes true in Kumejima

Residents prayed for rain as they held a tug-of-war and threw water on one another at Chinbe dunchi in Nakachi, Kumejima on August 11.

August 12, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

For the first time in 15 years, on August 11 at Chinbe dunchi, in Nakachi, Kumejima Town held a ritual calling for rain. Chinbe dunchi is the main place of worship in Kumejima. About 150 residents, including Mayor Choko Taira prayed for rain. The town office said that it had not rained at all since July, and whether or not it was in answer to their prayers, it rained briefly after the ritual.

Noriko Shimabukuro who is a Chinbe, or Okinawan high priestess, offered a prayer for rain at Shuri Bengadaki. She then watered the prayer stone for rain as she walked around it in a counterclockwise direction. There was a tug-of-war held on the road in front of the Chinbe dunchi as people threw water at one another, praying for rain. After that, they conducted rituals for rain at sacred prayer sites such as Shuketsu Utaki and Shiraimi Utaki near the airport. With the prayers at Shiraimi Utaki, they burned straw to pray for rain in front of stones in Hanni saki, which is close to the airport.

The sky became cloudy during the prayers at Shiraimi Utaki. There was a short burst of heavy rain and a whirl like a tornado appeared up in the sky.
Shimabukuro said, “It is marvelous to see this rain. We will keep praying.”

(English translation by T&CT, Megumi Chibana and Mark Ealey)

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