Tag Archives: 久米島

Kumejima Sakura Festival Photos

I’ve been posting a lot about sakura , but changing with the seasons really is a big part of Japanese culture.  There were so many events last week that its unfortunate the weather didn’t play a better partner.  With clouds and rain it was hard to get too many spectacular shots, but the party still went on.  I performed with a local band Saturday (technical problems led no video of that, sorry!) there was food and a tea garden, plus

The Sports Festival

In Japan there is an event called an undokai.  Roughly translated it means sports festival.  When I was on Kitadaito, we had one undokai scheduled every year for the entire village.  Students and teachers spent months preparing.  An entire day was devoted to the event and there were even whole mornings devoted towards practice and preparation.  The event included many running events, such as dashes, relays, and obstacle courses. Students and teachers also put on performances (think halftime shows Japanese-style) and many villagers

Hatenohama: The White Sand Beach

  Hatenohama is probably the single most beautiful beach in Okinawa.  It’s also one of the most remote.  Off shore of Kumejima Island, its a strip of sand that stretches out towards Okinawa in the East China Sea. View Larger Map The beach is in the center of a huge area of shallow water protected by a ring of coral and rock outcroppings. Over thousands of years the tidal actions in the protected area have built up what is now Hatenohama. I

East meets … Farther East

  There are a lot of different azas (字) on Kumejima.  An aza is smaller than a village, but bigger than a neighborhood.  Each one has its own community center and most host different events throughout the year.  Kanegusuku-aza‘s claim to fame is the Murashibi festival on September 12.  It falls every year on the full moon in September, dating back to when Japan used the lunar calendar.  This is one of the unique events only in Kumejima, and is