Spectacular parade at Yaese for full moon festival

Spectacular parade at Yaese for full moon festival

On October 7 at Tomimori, Yaese Town, Tunchu junei with “a u” in front.

October 14, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On October 7 at Tomimori in Yaese, a full moon festival was held in the square in front of the local community center. The town’s intangible cultural heritage, Tunchu junei (Chinese parade) and Yamatonchu junei (Japanese parade) were performed.  

The daytime program included a michijune. Led by duru (flag holders) with flags wishing for mutual prosperity and happiness, two parades and another intangible cultural heritage item, a female parade called a yonshi, followed. Colorful and spectacular scenes such as historical scroll paintings came after this.

Tunchu junei is thought to have been introduced by people from mainland China who lived in Kume-son, Naha during the Ryukyu Kingdom era. Along with high-pitched music from the Chinese instrument, the gaku, the parade walked with “a u” (elderly nobleman in old Chinese) at its head. People dressed as soldiers in black costumes performed karate in front of the king wearing his crown.

On October 7 at Tomimori, Yaese Town, people dressed in Japanese costume paraded in the Yamatonchu junei.

The Yamatonchu junei seems to have originated from the Edo nobori or the delegation to Edo, and the daimyo procession and composed. Participants in the procession marched in Japanese dress holding a sword, a gun, or a lantern in their hands.

Mari Tokashiki, who studies ethnology at Okinawa Kokusai University said, “It is my first time to see this, but I really enjoyed the story behind it. I think that it is great that so many young people took part in the parade.”

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

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