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Ryukyu water ceremony re-enacted in Kunigami

Date Posted: 2001-12-27

A re-enactment of the Amusui festival, a traditional water ceremony celebrated annually in the days of the Ryukyu Kingdom, took place on Sunday in Hedo, Kunigami Village. A woman portraying the ancient priestess Noro, escorted by eleven local residents dressed in traditional kimono, ladled water from the Ukka River into a large jar. This “waka mizu,” or young water, was then carried solemnly around the community to the accompaniment of drums beating out a good riddance to evil spirits. The container was entrusted to a messenger for conveyance to Shuri Castle, where it will be used for the first tea of the new year to be served to visitors during the three-day New Year’s celebration. The Amusui festival was revived four years ago after a 70-year hiatus.

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