Yesterday, August 25th, was the Unjami Festival on Kouri Island, Okinawa. It is a time to give thanks to the gods. Wearing wreaths of ryukyu botanzuru (Clematis taiwaniana var. ryukiuensis) village elders lead the prayers and offerings. At 96 years old, Kaneshi Fusae is the most senior of the village elders. Participants and spectators at the festival received some mochi (sticky gelatinous rice cake). After offerings of paper money and Awamori rice liquor at the shrine, 79 year old Toguchi Ayako lead the way down toward the sea. More prayers as we crossed the little road that rings the island. And then finally, on a bluff over looking the ocean, Toguchi-san gave the final blessings. Kaneshi-san was all smiles, another festival completed.
On the day before Holi festival, some locals couldn’t resist opening up their bags of dyed cornflower, and making the world a more colorful place.This group of men were quite reserved with their pink / yellow combination. Things would be a lot wilder the following day.