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Okinawa Hash House Harriers Hatch New Trails

By: Julio Barthson

Date Posted: 1999-10-23

Hashing on this island just got more exciting, as the big “pack” keeps on receiving new members eager to go “ON-ON” day by day. The Okinawa Hash House Harriers (OH3) is currently one of the most active hash groups in the world, and one of the few which really honor their social commitments. Harriers and harriettes of Okinawa have been on the right trail for almost 19 years now. Judging from the popularity of the group’s activities among US servicemen and a god number of Okinawans, it is safe to predict that they will be around for a long time.

Hashers are an association of cheery folks who meet regularly, on pre-scheduled places and dates, to perform physical exercise (running, jogging or walking) and to socialize (drinking together and singing joyful songs). For any sensitive persons who do not know anything about hashing, it may be important to note that the socialization aspect of hashing (drinking and singing) is mostly adult stuff. Alcohol flows, and lyrics that may have nothing to do with the Pastor’s last sermon, fill the atmosphere with delirious enchantment after every “*un” (the hashers’ term for a run). Hashers also call each other by nicknames, not only for security reasons, but also for the fun of the hash.

The Okinawa Hash House Harriers, created in 1980, is a third generation group, its ancestry being rooted in Kwala Lumpur (Malaysia) and in Taiwan. It was introduced to this island by Dal “Jock” Trader, who came from Taipei, in the late 1970s. It presently has over 200 members, 40 per cent of whom are Japanese. The most Senior Japanese Harrier is known by his “hash name” as Omakase. He has already completed 1350 runs on Okinawa alone.

According to OH3 President, known as Quagmire Quack (Q2) by his hashmates, there are always 15-100 hashers at every single event, which is a good record, compared to what happens in other countries where hash groups operate. Okinawa’s hashers run everywhere on the island. “We run in the streets of Chatan and Nago, in the parks of Naha and Yomitan, on the beaches, up and down the mountains, through the woods and the shiggy,” said Hashmaster Q2, a US Navy corpsman who joined hashing while in Cambodia.

What he refers to as “shiggy” is a hash term describing rough terrain and difficult areas like brushes, rivers, mud, running under hard rain or against strong winds, and so on. So one should not be surprised to see the “hounds” running after the “fox” or “hare” in the middle of Naha City or in the forests of northern Okinawa.

Each run starts with three or four members (the hares) making trails that the others (hounds) follow. It could be much fun because the hounds are usually misled by the trail marks left by the hares that may make their trip a hazardous one. At the end of the chase (“ON-IN”), the hashers hold a “down-down” session in a circle during which the “virgins” (first time runners) are introduced, departing members receive their farewell greetings, and trail violations are sanctioned. Then they go into hash songs, described by the Hashmaster as “risque tunes”.

Okinawa’s hashers do not only pride in the suggestive lyrics of their songs and the percentage of alcohol in the beverages they drink. They come from all walks of life, including lawyers, pilots, surgeons and even students. Though it is a “no rules” group by essence, membership is open to everyone, including children. According to Hashmaster Quagmire Quack, they now hold “Family Hash” every other Sunday, with family themes, during which adult language and humor is forbidden. But beer still flows during those occasions, though the kids are allowed to drink only sodas.

OH3 also participates in several Okinawa charity events such as the “Toys for Tots” drive (every December), a marine corps endeavor for needy children. Every spring, they also assist the Okinawa Rising Sun running club in the organization of the Golden Run. On this coming October 30th, they will meet at a spot soon to be designated in order to run and raise funds for charity. Such social activities may be the reason why hashing in Okinawa is presently raising a lot of interest.


- Every 1st and 3rd Tuesdays (7:00)
- Every 2nd and 4th Thursdays (7:00)
- Every Saturday (3:00)
- Every 2nd and 4th Sunday (2:00)
- Closed every Friday to the full moon at 7:00
- Closed every American and Japanese holiday.

For more information about membership and activities, call Hashmaster @ 0903-795-9398, or visit homepage userhp.konnect.net/ohhh

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