Traditional Events on Tokashiki Island

Traditional events and festivals held according to the lunar calendar are a valuable way to experience the unique customs and culture of Tokashiki Island. In addition, sports events and festivals that take advantage of the island’s climate are also held frequently, and are recommended for those who want to enjoy Tokashiki Island even more. Why not come and visit Tokashiki Island in time for the festivals and traditional events?


Lunar calendar March 4 (late March – early April)

Hamagori is a girls’ festival, equivalent to the Doll’s Festival on the mainland, and is held every year on March 4 of the lunar calendar. In Aza Watakashiki, Aza Abaren usually goes to the beach to hold a purification ceremony and feast on March 3 of the lunar calendar to drive away misfortune and evil.

One of the customs of the Aza-Tokashiki Hamagori is for residents to gather at Tokashiki Port and bring treats for a feast. On the same day, a haul out boat race is held by the Tokashiki Village Athletic Association.

The Abaren beach cruise is usually a boat ride to Hanari Island, a small island across from Abaren Beach, where the local residents gather to feast on a variety of treats and enjoy a banquet.

Awa-Ren Hari

Lunar calendar May 4 (June)

This festival is held every year on the fourth day of the fifth lunar month at Awaren Beach. Hurley is a traditional event that is said to have continued since the days of the Ryukyu Kingdom, and is held to pray for good catches and safe voyages by the Uminchu (fishermen).

Abaren is now a bustling sightseeing spot, but like Ago no Ura on Zamami Island, it is also known as a place where, in the days of the Ryukyu Kingdom, tribute ships leaving Naha for Tang (present-day China, then Ming and Qing) used to anchor and wait for the wind. One of the traditional events that is said to have already been held in those days is the annual Hari (Okinawan traditional festival) held on the fourth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar.

Whale Strait and Shiki Matsuri (Whale Strait and Shiki Matsuri Festival)

Late July

The largest summer festival on Tokashiki Island is held over two days on Saturday and Sunday in late July. The festival features traditional local performing arts such as Kerama Taiko drumming, Eisa by the youth association, island children’s performances, Ryukyuan classical performing arts and Okinawan karate performances, and live performances by local artists. The fireworks display on a screen in the magnificent night sky filled with stars, which can be seen only in Tokashiki, is a spectacular sight. Many people gather from the main island and outside of the prefecture.

Aza-Tokashiki Tug of War

Lunar calendar June 25(August)

The Tokashiki Tug-of-War is a large tug-of-war event that has been held on Tokashiki Island for more than 300 years. Every year on the 25th day of the 6th lunar month, the villagers of Tokashiki Island make ropes out of the island’s rice straw and divide the village into east and west to pull the ropes, a tradition that continues to this day.

The tug-of-war is held to express gratitude for a bountiful harvest and to promote harmony and friendship among villagers and township friendship associations, etc. It is said that “if the west side wins, there will be a bountiful harvest; if the east side wins, there will be a big catch.

Old Bon Road Junay

Bon Festival of the lunar calendar

Lunar Bon Festival is one of the annual events. On Tokashiki Island, the “Tokashiki Village Youth Association” holds a “Michi-junei” every year during this time. The “Dojunei” is a traditional Okinawan event in which people parade through the streets of the village during the Lunar Bon Festival to make offerings to their ancestors. The spirits of the ancestors are welcomed on the first day of the Bon Festival (Unkei), and finally sent home (Ukui) by the young men and women playing drums, singing, shouting, and blowing finger flutes as they dance in eisa.

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