Traditional Chinese and Japanese parades performed during full moon festival

Traditional Chinese and Japanese parades performed during full moon festival

On September 21, Tunchu junei was held at Tomimori in Yaese. An elderly nobleman called au led the march followed by the aji or regional leaders, their attendants, a karate group and a Chinese musical instrument band.

A full moon festival was held in the square in front of the Tomimori Community Center in Yaese on September 22. The town’s intangible cultural heritage parades: Tunchu junei (Chinese), Yamatonchu junei (Japanese) and Yonshi (women’s) were held. The parades depicted colorful and spectacular scenes seen on historical picture scrolls. It is said that Tunchu junei was introduced into Tomimori by Chinese people living in Kume-son, Naha during the Ryukyu Kingdom era. An elderly nobleman called an au leads the parade, holding a triangular flag to the high-pitched sound of an instrument called a gaku in China. They gave a karate demonstration dressed in black costumes in front of the king wearing a crown.

The Yamatonchu junei is thought to have developed from the daimyo procession seen by the delegations sent to Edo from the Kingdom of Ryukyu. The participants marched dressed in samurai costumes, holding guns, swords and lanterns. The parade advanced with people calling out “shitani, shitani” meaning “bow down your heads.”

The traditional arts were performed on a special stage in the evening to deepen friendships in the community.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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