Monday, July 04, 2016

Mushiokuri--Sending off of the bad insects, Shiraishi Island, Japan

 Bye-bye insects!

It was a busy few on Shiraishi Island as people used the first weekend in July to start off the summer season with style. In addition to a full crowd at the Moooo! Bar and 35 or so boats participating in the Shiraishi Yacht race, Sunday morning the annual mushi okuri festival worked its magic. This ceremony is to rid the island of harmful insects who destroy crops and buildings. How do they get rid of these insect? Easy, just call out to them and tell'em to get in the boat! The islanders carry a small wooden/straw boat through the fields and around the island calling singing a chant. Once all the baddies have eagerly jumped in, the boat is launched from the beach and it's bye-bye baddies! It's a quaint and adorable festival and our island is one of the few places in Japan that still performs the ritual. Although you missed it, you can read my article about it, or watch a short video of it, here.

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