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Agariumai, an Okinawan Pilgrimage
post : 2014.11.11 16:00
The creator of Okinawa Amamikiyo took a pilgrimage walked from sacred land to sacred land in the “Agariumai”. Amamamikiyo is said to be the creator god that built Okinawa from the land of Niraikanai (utopia).
It is said that during the Ryukyu Dynasty period kings would do it to pray for a bountiful harvest and prosperity for the kingdom, after that it spread to the common folk. To take a trip to in touch with the history of Okinawa (Ryukyu), there are more people taking the Agariumai.
Next to Shuri Castle and Shureimon there is the world heritage site “Sonohyan-utaki” which is the start of the journey where you pray for safety,
From the center of Shuri you go towards the direction in which the sun rises (east), and go towards the holy land of what is now Sashiku, Chinen, and Tamagusuku in Nanjo.
There are 14 sacred sites (utaki) , among them the most famous is Sefa-utaki. It is the most spiritual land in Okinawa, and is one of seven utaki created by Amamikiyo. It is registered as a world heritage site. Miracles took place between the trees during the Ryukyu Dynasty period and you can pray at the “island of the gods” Kudaka Island.
Chinen Castle Ruins
Go to Ukinju/Hainju where the cultivation of rice began in Ryukyu.
The last is Tamagusuku castle site. This is also on of the seven utaki and through the round stone gate on the morning of the summer solstice and the evening of winter solstice you can get a fantastical view.
To feel the thankfulness of the blessing of natures and respect for ancestors that the Okinawan people feel why not plan an Agariumai pilgrimage? You might get some mysterious power.
Also, all these places are sacred and important to the local people. So respectfully visit the utaki.
More details about Agariumai
Okinawa Clip Photowriter Masayuki Sesoko