400 people pray for lasting peace at Shimi Festival

400 people pray for lasting peace at Shimi Festival

On April 11 people prayed for peace and offered origami paper cranes at the Okinawa Peace Memorial in Itoman City.

April 12, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

On April 11 at the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum in Itoman City, “the 8th Cornerstone of Peace Memorial Shimi Festival” was held to commemorate the war dead and honor the ancestors. Shimi ritual dishes and fruits were offered at the Okinawa Peace Memorial Monument. Ryukyuan thread balls and origami paper cranes were also laid at the memorial as about 400 people gathered to pray for lasting peace.

A graduate student from Holland Gijis van der Lubbe, who studies Ryukyuan languages at the University of Ryukyus, made an address in Shimakutuba. Lubbe said, “Mirukuyu nu unige to shite, kwaumaga hajimi, shike umanchunu cha, mimanti utabimi shebiri (As a prayer to the god of peace, please watch over our children, grandchildren, and all people of the world).”

Living national treasure Choichi Terukina played a classical Ryukyuan song “Nakafubushi.”The Okinawa Male Choir dedicated songs such as “Danju Kariyushi” to the monument.

Natsumi Hamamoto from Naha City, who attended the ceremony with her kids, said, “I pray for a peaceful world and that war will not occur when my kids grow up.”

(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)

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