Residents of Henza Island pray to the ocean for prosperity at Sangwacha

Residents of Henza Island pray to the ocean for prosperity at <em>Sangwacha</em>

In the afternoon on March 25 on Henza Island in Yonashiro, Uruma, led by a standard-bearer carrying a flag wishing for a big catch and prosperity, local residents marched with a portable shrine of taman to Oiwa Nanza off the eastern coast of the island

March 26, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On Henza Island in Yonashiro, Uruma for three days from March 24, or March 3 on the lunar calendar, the traditional ceremony sangwacha was held. On nakanuhi, or the middle day of March 25, a tudanuiyu ceremony was held to pray for a good catch, safety, health and prosperity, and the nanzamoi ceremony to cross the ocean to Oiwa Nanza, which is located to the east off of the island.

During tudanuiyu, the Henza Sanshin Club sang and played songs for karii zuke (preliminary celebration) and 81 year-old noro (hereditary sacred woman) Tomeko Kamura handed a glass of prayer wine to community association President Tomio Matsuda. When women from a newly established group, Usudeku Chorus sang kaminchu songs, and Senior Club Vice President Sumiko Tamanaha sang a line “nail a big harpoon,” taman (Lethrinus nebulosus) on a cutting board was nailed and raised. After that, students from Henza Junior High School carried a portable taman shrine and offered their prayers.

(English translation by T&CT, Megumi Chibana and Mark Ealey)

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