Visit with Sho En|Treasures of the Island: Izena Village’s Historic Landmarks and Cultural Properties

Visit with Sho En|Treasures of the Island: Izena Village’s Historic Landmarks and Cultural Properties

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Traditional Island Events

Traditional Island Events, New Performing Arts, and Other Events

Traditional Events ※ Partial Listing

  • Kuujinu Shiimii

    Kuujinu Shiimii

    A formal memorial service held in early April for the family of King Sho En interred in Tamaudun. The containers used for the offerings are to this day those that were gifts from the royal administration in Shuri.

  • Yukkanuhii


    An Okinawan festival called Unzami held in honor of the sea gods on the 4th of May in the old lunar calendar, where fishermen give thanks for the blessings of the sea, and pray for good catches and safe navigation on the ocean. Haarii boat races are also held at Izena Beach.

  • Unnaa


    A harvest festival held in June in the old lunar calendar in the four communities of Izena, Jicchaku, Shomi and Nakada. A giant tug-of-war, a sumo wrestling competition, and Sunai bouts (where opponents try to knock each other off a platform) are held, with the festivities continuing late into the night.

  • Chikadui


    Held on the 16th of June in the old lunar calendar in various locations. It is to give thanks for a bumper rice crop, and also to pray for a good catch of the young dusky rabbitfish that come close to the shoreline for one day only in both June and July.

  • Naakuchi


    In June in the old lunar calendar, three festivals are held consecutively over three days: the Grand Rice Festival on the 15th, the Chikadui on the 16th, and the Naakuchi on the 17th. The Naakuchi is called "a celebration of the planting of rice seedlings," and is held at the Kami Asagi in each of the communities.

  • Shinugu


    Held on the 18th of June in the old lunar calendar. This is an event where children go from house to house to exorcise demons and pray for bumper harvests, the prosperity of the village, and the health of its people.

  • Iruchayoo


    A religious festival held on the 11th of August in the old lunar calendar to pray for safe navigation on the ocean, and currently only remaining on the two islands of Izena and Iheya. At night, a traditional folk song called Tirukuguchi is performed together with an accompanying dance.

  • August Mura Ashibi (Harvest Festival)

    August Mura Ashibi (Harvest Festival)

    Held on the 11th and 12th of August in the old lunar calendar in the communities of Jicchaku, Nakada, Izena, Uchihana and Shomi. Performances of Eisaa dances, stick-fighting, and traditional Kumiodori dances unique to the island take place at the community center, leaving spectators spellbound.

  • Tootoku(Tootoku Festival)

    Tootoku(Tootoku Festival)

    Held on the 2nd of February in the old lunar calendar at the Tootoku in Shomi and Jicchaku. Offerings of pig's heads, goat soup, chicken, fish, and Mochi are made to the Tootoku, which are gods of agriculture and rice cultivation, to pray for bumper harvests.

New Performing Arts

  • Sho En Daiko Drumming

    Sho En Daiko Drumming

    Started in 1989 as an island performing art using traditional Japanese Wadaiko drums. The fusion of strength and delicacy in the performances immediately mesmerizes spectators. Performances also take place outside of the island.

  • Folk Music

    Folk Music "The Ballad of Sho En"

    A rendition of Sho En's birth on the island and ascent to King performed in orchestral format using singing and instruments including the Sanshin, Koto, Kokyu, and Taiko. A magnificent and moving spectacle that resonates within the audience.

  • Historical Drama King Sho En --Machigani Goes Forth--

    Historical Drama King Sho En --Machigani Goes Forth--

    A historical drama that retraces the footsteps of Sho En performed by the villagers themselves. In addition to the highly rated performances, the script which was edited by the historian Takara Kurayoshi (who is from the village himself) is also held in high esteem, having received a Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Award.

  • Kumiodori

    Kumiodori "Nakankarimakatu"

    A youth initiative with the objective of inheriting and passing on to the next age the island's traditional Kumiodori dance. It is a tragic love story connected with Churainjo, and was first performed in 2015 in commemoration of 600 years since the birth of King Sho En.

Other Events

  • Izena King Sho En Festival

    Izena King Sho En Festival

    Held in late July or early August. In addition to sports exchange events and hands-on activities, the lineup is full of traditional island performing arts, Sho En Daiko, concerts performed by famous musicians, and even fireworks.

  • Izena 88 Triathlon

    Izena 88 Triathlon

    A medium distance triathlon held in late October with a total of 88km for the swim, cycle and run. It is popular due to the island's natural beauty, and during the event the island's population swells to 1.5 times its usual size.

  • Izena King Sho En Marathon

    Izena King Sho En Marathon

    A competition in which children can also freely participate held in early February in the four categories of half, 10km, 5km, and 3km. Beaches and communities are included on the course, enabling participants to fully enjoy the charm of the island.