In Nago, Kayo Tabukwa Association plants rice in field that has been unused for six years

In Nago, Kayo Tabukwa Association plants rice in field that has been unused for six years

In spite of being unfamiliar with the work, participants do their best planting rice (March 13, Kayo in Nago)

March 22, 2022 Ryukyu Shimpo

By Miho Iwakiri


Nago – On March 13, the Kayo Tabukwa Association, a group made up of residents of the Kayo neighborhood in Nago, planted rice in a neighborhood field for the first time in six years. Approximately 40 people worked up a sweat under a cloudless sky. Straw taken from the field will be used to make the rope for the neighborhood’s tug-of-war event to be held in the sixth month of the lunar year. The Kayo Tabukwa Association is made up of interested residents and volunteers from other areas. In the past, they borrowed a field of approximately 620 square meters for free from residents and cultivated rice by hand, without using pesticides. However, due to environmental changes and the coronavirus, the group has not done so since 2017.

This year, Hirofumi Miyagi of Kayo, who is a representative of the Tabukwa Association, Makoto Fujisaki of Abu, and Masato Ikei, who runs the Kaikadow after-school care and preparatory school in Naha, recruited the children who attend Kaikadow as well as volunteers from the south-central part of the island.

The association planted Haneji rice seedlings. For many children, it was their first time planting rice and they went at it with gusto, in spite of being unfamiliar with the work. One of the children, Koharu Chinen from Naha, said, “It’s fun sticking the seedlings into the mud.” Rice reaping and threshing will be done by hand in June and July. Miyagi says, “Kayo used to be the best place for growing rice in the Kushi of the old days. I want to share our culture of rice cultivation.”


(English translation by T&CT and Ellen Huntley)


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