Technicolor Island Culture

10 Nov

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 Responses to “Technicolor Island Culture”

  1. Emiel November 10, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    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 November 10, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

      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. Jude November 10, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    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 November 10, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

      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. Andi November 10, 2010 at 6:58 pm #

    Oh wow, what a sea of gorgeous colors!

  4. winxrocker November 11, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    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..

  5. winxrocker November 11, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    Just a question: Are people chosen for this parade, or can anyone do it?

    • maryrichardson November 14, 2010 at 1:31 am #

      I think probably anyone can do it, but you have to have some association with the historical group that puts it on…

  6. Lilliane/wanderlass November 11, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    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 November 14, 2010 at 1:30 am #

      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.

  7. Fly Girl November 12, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    These are stunning images. I love cultural festivals but expecially ones with vivid colors like these.

    • maryrichardson November 14, 2010 at 1:27 am #

      Thanks… I’m sure you see lots of vivid colors in your travels in the Caribbean

  8. Matt November 12, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    Such incredible colors!! We all need more parades. Love the photos!

    • maryrichardson November 14, 2010 at 1:27 am #

      Thanks Matt… I agree that there should be more parades in the world!

  9. Steve November 15, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    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.


  1. Tweets that mention Technicolor Island Culture « World Curious Traveler -- - November 12, 2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Matt Koenig, Emiel van den Boomen. Emiel van den Boomen said: Technicolor Island Culture: #japan #photography #festivals #culture [...]

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