Dementia patients enjoy Uchinaguchi picture-card show

Dementia patients enjoy Uchinaguchi picture-card show

Participants enjoy the picture-card show in uchinaguchi, held on May 26 at the day-care center “Deigoen” in the Amekudai Hospital in Naha.

May 27, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

As part of their therapy, a picture-card show in Uchinaguchi or Okinawan dialect was held at the dementia day-care center “Deigoen” for aged patients of the Amekudai Hospital in Naha, on May 26. Okinawan dialect newscaster of the Radio Okinawa Masakazu Itokazu read the fairy tale picture book entitled “The Frog’s tug of war,” which was written by a well-known printmaker and writer Hiroshi Gima from Okinawa. Laughter and happy comments rose from among the forty people participated in the show as they listened to the familiar sound of uchinaguchi.

The center has held the show in the hope that the dementia patients might remember their own old stories when they hear uchinaguchi and the fairy tale.

A 70 year-old man was moved to tears when he heard Itokazu’s beautifully pronounced Naha dialect and expressed his gratitude in uchinaguchi.
Therapist and member of the staff of the facility Satoru Agarie said, “I’m glad that the patients listened so attentively to Itokazu. In recent years there are fewer and fewer opportunities to use uchinaguchi. I hope that some of the people remembered their old days.”

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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