Technicolor Island Culture

One of the things I love about Okinawa is that there is cultural festival almost monthly. I previously wrote posts about the 10,000 Eisa Parade and the World’s Largest Tug of War.

Those are certainly larger events drawing crowd, but a week ago, I attended a smaller event too, with no less pomp and pageantry. It was a¬†procession of 1,500 locals donned in ancient island costumes, a tradition going back hundreds of years. Take a look at the gorgeous colors and textures of this parade…

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16 thoughts on “Technicolor Island Culture

  1. Dear Mary,

    Beautiful pictures! You call this a small event :)
    I attended a similar event in Kyoto once, it was showing Japanese history: clothing from all centuries. It was an amazing experience.
    Love the colours, thanks.

    • maryrichardson

      Emiel,
      Thanks… considering the Tug of War had like 30 K people, this one was small peanuts! Your Kyoto experience sounds fantastic… I’m sure that clothing was exquisite!

  2. How I love a bit of pageantry! The colours, the showsmanship, the flurry of excitement, the traditions behind it all! There’s a rich vein of Okinawan tradition in Hawaii too, although the art of celebrating in this manner every month got lost in translation. How lucky you are to see this, just amazing. Thank you for sharing :)

    • maryrichardson

      Jude,
      I’ve heard there’s a sizeable Okinawan population in Hawaii! I would love to explore that some day and see how it compares…

  3. winxrocker

    This looks like a rainbow! No kidding!
    Here in Los Angeles, we have an AIDS walk every year. This year, that turned out a lot of people, who made their own shirts for the walk!
    And oh my! You should have seen the designs and patterns! One lady even knitted her shirt!
    I wish I could have seen this. People over there are quite serious about their cultures, aren’t they? It’s nice, because it really shows that they’re still in touch with their roots..
    Ashley

  4. I love festivals and sometimes travels to participate in one. But one time in July, I arrived in Kyoto not knowing that Gion Matsuri was happening. While it was one of the biggest Japanese festival, I love your festival more because the colors are brighter and you have women in the festival! Nice photos.

    • maryrichardson

      Lilliane,
      It’s interesting that you mention the women… some of the festival events here are definitely more male-centric. In this case, no, but I have noticed it before.

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  6. The photos you put up really capture a lot of the festival. I get a good feel of what it would be like when I look at them. The costumes are so beautiful and colorful. Very cool.

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