Traditional event Mushaama held to pray for Hateruma Island’s prosperity

Traditional event Mushaama held to pray for Hateruma Island’s prosperity

The front group Michisane led by a Miruku heading to the community center plaza, taken on August 14 on Hateruma Island of Taketomi Town.

August 15, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo

On August 14, which was nakanuhii for Okinawa’s old Bon, a traditional event called “mushaama” was held.

“Mushaama” consists of holding memorial services for ancestors at Taketomi Town’s Hateruma Island, along with praying for a good harvest and sound health.

Residents who gathered at the community center plaza for a costume parade called “Michisane” led by a Miruku, or Maitreya, along with those originally from the island performed traditional dance and theatrical performance to pray for the island’s prosperity.

The Michisane was carried out in the order of front, west, and east groups, which were separated by communities.

Men and women of all ages lined up in rows and performed a lion dance and a demonstration with sticks while parading within the community.

At the community center, people performed boh (the art of using a stick as a weapon) and tehku (drums), along with ninbuchaa (Buddhist prayer dance) in which mainly community center staff offered a prayer by dancing and singing while forming a circle.

A myriad of theatrical dance were also performed.

In addition to local residents, many tourists joined the island-wide festival bringing the island together.

Community Center Director Katsuhiko Nakasoko said, “The typhoon affected preparations and practice, but I’m glad we were able to have it without any problems. I appreciate that each community and those from the island worked hard to make this happen.”

(English translation by T&CT and Chelsea Ashimine)

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