Ueda ugan held to pray for good harvest

Ueda ugan held to pray for good harvest

Nakandakari community' s residents planted rice and prayed for a good harvest at Tamagusuku, Nanjo on February 18. (Photograph taken by Yuna Fukuhara)

February 19, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

February 19 is called Usui or rainwater, which is one of 24 solar terms in the traditional East Asian lunisolar calendars, and the time the coldness eases and farming starts.

Ueda ugan is an annual event held on February 18 at Ukinjuhainju,Tamagusuku Nakandakari, Nanjo, where rice cultivation started in the Ryukyus. The community held the event to pray for a good harvest on the same day this year. The event is held annually on the first Ox day in the Lunar New Year.

The community’s residents prayed at Meji where a crane flew from China, dropped a rice stalk and a sprout grew. They also offered prayers at Ukinjuhainju. Then, three men from the community planted rice at Ueda.

In the ceremony called Sanju sanpe held at Yuemo, the people offered their prayers towards the north, south, east and west. They sang a song, Amaueda’s kuena, that is a work song featuring the scenes from planting to harvest.

Tomio Shiroma, a former Nakandakari community chair said, “We want to recover the original performance and pass it onto the next generations.”

(English translation by T&CT, Hitomi Shinzato)

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