New harii boats launched in Itoman

New <em>harii</em> boats launched in Itoman

On April 27, the young people from Nakamura district launch a new harii boat with ruby snapper painting at Itoman Fishing Port.

May 2, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

A launching ceremony for three dragon boats built last October was held on April 27 at Itoman Fishing Port. Young people from Nishimura, Nakamura, and Niijima districts – Itoman’s long-established communities – poured rice and sacred sake on the boats in keeping with the old ways. After that, they launched the new boats in the sea. The boats will be used for Agaisubu race, which is a highlight of the Itoman dragon boat festival held on the 1st of June.

It takes one year to complete the new boats in Itoman. Each community has its own symbol. A dragon is painted on the Nishimura boat, a ruby snapper on the Nakamura boat and a marlin on the Niijima boat.

On April 27, young people row new harii boat at the launching ceremony at the Itoman Fishing Port.

After launching the boats, the young people carried out a test ride in the port area and beyond it, confirming the safety and ride quality of the boats.

Masatsugu Uehara from Nishimura team said, “I felt refreshed, and it encouraged us to practice for the real race. We want to achieve the second straight win.”

After the ceremony, young people reported the boat completion to ancestors at the Hakugin-do temple and offered sacred sake.

(English translation by T&CT, Hitomi Shinzato)

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