New “king and queen” selected at Shurijo Castle Park event

New “king and queen

New “king” Masaya Koami (right) and “queen” Juri Shiohira at Shurijo Castle Park in Naha on September 22.

September 23, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

Selection of a new “king” and “queen” took place at the event “Mid-Autumn Feast” held in the Una forecourt of Shurijo Castle in Naha on September 22. Thirty five-year-old Masaya Koami was chosen in the role of “king” and Juri Shiohira as “queen.” Koami lives and works in Motobu and Shiroma in Itoman. Their first job will be to attend a swearing-in ceremony on October 26 in which the Sapposhi or envoy of the Chinese Emperor will bestow the imperial seal on the new King of the Ryukyu. They will also attend ancient-style processions, such as the one in which a scroll from the Ryukyu Dynasty is paraded through the streets on October 27. The new “king” and “queen” will take part in events hosted by Shurijo Castle Park over the next twelve months.

Dressed in a golden costume, the new “king” Koami said, “I am trying to carry myself like a king, and I want to convey our unique culture to people here in Okinawa and beyond.”

Shiohira said, “Tears of joy welled up in my eyes when I heard that I had been chosen as the new ‘queen.’ I had always wanted to do this role, so I am thrilled. I am very grateful to my mother and my friends for encouraging me.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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