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Prayers to Miruku for good health resume after three years in Shuri-akata<英語ニュース>

Miruku and the band parade through the town of Shuri-akata, Naha City, to wish for good health and to vanquish the coronavirus pandemic on Aug 14. (Photo courtesy of Shuri-akata, Naha City)

August 17, 2022 Ryukyu Shimpo

By Yoshiya Hokama

 

On August 14, the traditional event, Miruku Unkei in Akata, was held in the town of Shuri-akata, Naha City. The event was canceled for the last two years in response to the spread of the coronavirus; however, because its original purpose is to pray for good health, the tradition resumed this year with the hope of vanquishing the pandemic.

 

Residents of Shuri-akata gathered along the street to watch the traditional event for the first time in three years and cheered as the Okinawan god Miruku paraded through the town fanning his large fan of good fortune to the music of the band.

 

Shuri-akata's Miruku Unkeh is said to have its origins in a painting of Miroku that was brought to Okinawa from China during the Ryukyu Dynasty. Legend has it that the residents of Akata worshipped the painting, which was dedicated to the Shui Dunchi, and as a result, were saved from smallpox and other epidemics.

 

Shinji Zaha, chairman of the Miruku Unkei executive committee, said, “While we are still in a pandemic, we are glad to be able to resume this tradition to pray for good health, community safety, and a good harvest.”

(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)

 

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