Associate Professor Bill Kunz taught at the University of the Ryukyus as a Fulbright Scholar.

Naha, Okinawa—Another weekend, another festival. This weekend it was the annual omasturi in the city of Naha, which is the capital of Okinawa. This one was a three-day affair, with parades on Saturday and Sunday and a tug-of-war on Sunday as well. The festival ended at the park on Monday.

The parades were quite interesting. The one on Saturday featured various groups, including many schools, performing on the main shopping street in Naha. This included a marching band of elementary-school-aged kids.

Sunday was a little different, with different neighborhoods and organizations marching through the streets, most of them carrying a long, decorated pole with a flag at the top.

What is most interesting is that all ages seem to be involved . . . from the older members of the community marching in the front to the younger members in the rear, with small boys often carrying a miniature replica of the larger flag pole.

Learn more about Bill’s quarter in Japan

Read all of Bill’s Postcards dispatches.

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