Nakandakari Ward holds ceremony to transplant young rice plants and pray for good harvest

Nakandakari Ward holds ceremony to transplant young rice plants and pray for good harvest

People planting rice as they pray for a good harvest, taken in the afternoon of February 14 at Ukinjyu Hainjyu in Tamagusuku Village of Nanjo City, Okinawa Prefecture

February 15, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo


On February 14, Nakandakari Ward’s traditional event “Ueda Ugan” took place at Ukinjyu Hainjyu. Ukinjyu Hainjyu, located in Hyakuna of Tamagusuku Village in Nanjo City, Okinawa Prefecture, is said to be the birthplace of Ryukyu rice cultivation.

Ward residents performed the rice planting ceremony and prayed for a good harvest.


This event traditionally takes place on the first Day of the Horse following the Lunar New Year.

Legend says, a crane that flies from China and drops an ear of rice, which sprouts at “Me-ji” at which people pray.

Following that, people pray at Ukinjyu (west spring) and Hainjyu (east spring). Three male ward residents then transplant young rice plants in a rice field called “Ue-da.”


Following the rice planting ceremony, people gather at the “Yu-e Mo” and perform the “Sanjyusanpe no sihouhai” in which they bow 33 times each to the north, south, east and west.

After that, they sing the “Ama-ue-da no kue-na” that details the process of tilling the rice field all the way to harvesting the rice.

The song prays for a good harvest and sound health.


Nakandakari Ward Headman Akira Yamakawa, 61, happily commented that “Two of the three members who transplanted the rice plants are a part of the ward’s rice cultivation association, which was established by younger generations in hopes of reviving rice cropping.

The tradition is being passed down not just in form, but in spirit also.”


(English translation by T&CT and Chelsea Ashimine)



Go to Japanese


Previous Article:
Next Article:

[Similar Articles]