The three major festivals of Naha are the Tsuji Juri-uma Matsuri (Juri-uma parade of Tsuji), Naha Hārī (Naha dragon boat race) and the Naha Otsuna-hiki (Naha Great tug of war).
The Tsuji area, known as the red lantern district, was known as “Hana nu shima” of island of flowers. It is there that guests were entertain through Ryukyuan music, dances and cuisine. The Tsuji parade occurring in the end of March is a festival to pray for a good year and business prosperity.
Dragon boat races are generally known as a part of Sea God festival to pray for good catches and safety. But the original dragon boat race was started for the purpose of praying for rich harvests and people's peace.
Tugs of war are farming village events held in rural areas to pray for rain for rice cultivation, five cereal rich harvests and good fortune. Compare to this, great tugs of war are events held in urban area (town and city). Naha’s great tug of war symbolizes the trading city that is Naha.
Before Naha Hārī is held May 3-5, the Hārī yurai festival, an ancient ritual is also held April 28 in Tomigusuku Castle Ruin Park where the Okinawa Karate Kaikan stands. Karate performances are traditionally held during the event. We hope that many people will participate in these two dragon boat events.
About the origin of dragon boat race, we introduce 2 documents edited by the Tomigusuku dragon boat association.
(Please note that the Japanese PDF has some historical pictures not used in the English version)
We have released a column Questioning the weapons’ hunt regarding the sword hunt that is said to have occurred during the time of King Shō Shin.
The Golden Week (GW) is a collection of national holidays between the end of April and the beginning of May. Combined with weekends, it is one of the busiest holiday season of Japan. This year's Golden Week will be 10 consecutive holidays from April 27 (Sat.) to May 6 (Mon.).
During the GW period, our center is offering karate experience sessions for beginners. The details are as follows.
Dates: April 27 (Sat.) to May 6 (Mon.)
Time: 1st session: 10 am-11 am (60 minutes)
2nd session: 2 pm to 3 pm (60 minutes)
Details: Please read the dedicated page.
Remarks: Advance reservation is required (by the previous day)
Contact: OKIC (098-851-1088) or +81-98-851-1088 for Intl’ calls
Since the summer of 2018, the karate world in Okinawa is cooperating with the related parties to disseminate information aiming at expanding the Awamori market.
This project is part of the “Ryukyu Awamori Overseas Export Project Action Plan” which is promoted by the Cabinet Office Okinawa Promotion Bureau, the Okinawa General Bureau, and the Okinawa Prefecture Sake Brewing Association.
From the start of the project, many masters have appeared in promotional videos, and since August 2018, many video have been released on the PR video site “Okinawa Traditional Karate Channel”. As of January 18, 2019, the number of viewing has reached 1.53 million.
As an additional information, the 2nd “Shimazake Festa” will be held in Naha City Cellular park April 13th to 14th. During the event, JETRO Okinawa will hold an Awamori Seminar for foreign residents and visitors. The seminar will be held once in English and once in Japanese.
The “Shimazake Festa” is free of charge, and this seminar is also free of charge, but if you want to sample Awamori, please note that you need to purchase a tasting ticket (pre- ¥ 1,500, ¥ 2,000 on the day).
For details on the seminar, please see the event brochure in English and Japanese.
This coming Sunday March 31st, former tennis champion and announcer Matsuoka Shuzo meets Higaonna Morio sensei in a nation wide TV show. The program is "Cheering for Tokyo Matsuoka Shuzo's Yes we can declaration - Dekiru Sengen"... The program should be available on all Asahi TV network at AM6:50. In Okinawa, check out QAB.