Ryukyuan ritual Momoso-omono-mairi reenacted in Shuri Castle Park
January 26, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
On January 25, the Okinawa Memorial Park recreated the Momoso–mono-mairi, one of the traditional rituals that used to be performed at Shuri Castle six times a year during the Ryukyu Kingdom period.
The ritual involves noro or female oracles making a pilgrimage around the castle and nearby sacred areas. The participants used to pray for the longevity of the kings, prosperity of their descendants, as well as safe sailing and a good harvest. The event was held to commemorate the one year anniversary of the restoration of four buildings next to the main temple of the castle including the Kuganiudun. This is the second time a ritual event has taken place since last year.
Twenty-one people playing the role of male royal government officials made a vow before the main temple of the castle. After that, nine female oracles, singing a ritual song called Kuena, appeared from the Kuganiudun next to the main temple. The participants made an offering to Suimuiutaki, the worship house in the Sichanuna forecourt. Three high rank female oracles read prayers.
Nishihara Town resident Yasushi Naka said, “It’s a good opportunity for me to learn the history of Okinawa.”
The ritual event took place four times over two days from January 24 to 25.
The participants carried lanterns as they walked around the castle, which was lit up for the event at night.
(English translation by T&CT)
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