Shinugu animistic festival held for a good crop and perfect health
August 15, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
Shinugu, which is designated as a significant intangible folk cultural asset of Japan, was held in Ada, Kunigami Village on the afternoon of August 15. In the fitful rain, local men crowned with grassy headwear and covered with leaves climbed up a mountain to become “one-day gods.” They then climbed down the mountain, driving away evil spirits, and later prayed for a rich harvest.
For shinugu, two different types of festival are carried out in alternate years. This year was the ufushinugu, the bigger festival, and next year will be the shinugungua, the smaller version.
Around noon, the men broke into groups to go into three mountains, meba, yamanasu, and sasa. They underwent a purification ceremony, sukunare, in which they became one-day gods and chanted “E-he-ho-i (yo-ho)” as they danced with a volley of bass drum rhythms and beat the ground with leaves and trees picked up from the mountains. They then marched through the village.
(English translation by T&CT)
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