Oral Texts

May Ceremonies

Okinawa Shuri

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Bōkei Maehira (born 1921) tells about the various ceremonies held during the month of May.

真栄平房敬 ‘うちなーうてー んかしから しちしちに ゆってぃ めーじち しちびぬ ‘あいびーしが
ʔutʃinaːuteː ŋkaʃikara ʃitʃiʃitʃini jutti meːʒitʃi ʃitʃibinu ʔaibiːʃiga
"In Okinawa, each month has its own seasonal festivals,"
真栄平房敬 やしが じゅーぐゎちびかーのー ねーやびらん.
jaʃiga ʒuːgwatʃibikaːnoː neːjabiraɴ.
"except for the tenth month [of the lunar calendar], when there aren't any."
真栄平房敬 くれー ‘あちはてぃ じゅーぐゎちんでぃ ‘いちょーいびーん.
kureː ʔatʃihati ʒuːgwatʃindi ʔitʃoːibiːɴ.
"We say: 'The tenth month, when we have too much time on our hands.'"
真栄平房敬 やれー ぐんぐゎちぇー ちゃーる しちびぬ ‘あがんでぃ ‘いぇー
jareː guŋgwatʃeː tʃaːru ʃitʃibiɴu ʔagandi ʔjeː
"All right then, about what kinds of events there are in the fifth month [of the lunar calendar]: "
真栄平房敬 まじ ぐんぐゎちぐにち えー ぐんぐゎち ゆっかぬ ふぅぃー.
maʒi guŋgwatʃiguɴitʃi eː guŋgwatʃi jukkanu hwiː.
"first of all, the 5th of the fifth month… No, the 4th of the fifth month…"
真栄平房敬

""
真栄平房敬 わらびんちゃーんかい ‘いっぺー ‘うぃーりきさる ふぅぃー やてぃ
warabintʃaːŋkai ʔippeː ʔwiːrikisaru hwiː jati
"…is a delightful day for children, "
真栄平房敬 くれー ‘うやぬ ちゃーから ‘いる‘いるぬ いーりむん いーてぃ ‘あしぶくとぅ 
kureː ʔujanu tʃaːkara ʔiruʔirunu iːrimuɴ iːti ʔaʃibukutu
"because they are given all kinds of toys by their parents and play with them; …"
真栄平房敬 ゆっかぬふぅぃーや すいなーふぁぬ みーだつる とぅーい
jukkanuhwiːja suinaːhwanu miːdaʦuru tuːi
" in Shuri, Naha on the 4th,"
真栄平房敬 かじまやー かじまやーんかい いーりむんまちぬ たっち にじやか やいびーたん.
kaʒimajaː kaʒimajaːŋkai iːrimummatʃinu tattʃi niʒijaka jaibiːtaɴ.
"…there would be a toy market on a major crossroads so it would be lively there."
真栄平房敬 んかしぬ いーりむもー なまぬ いーりむんぬ ぐとぅし かにし ちゅくたい
ŋkaʃinu iːrimumoː namanu iːrimunnu gutuʃi kaniʃi tʃukutai
"Unlike the toys of today, toys weren't made of metal"
真栄平房敬 でんきしかきぬ むのー ‘あらん
deŋkiʃikakinu munoː ʔaraɴ
"and didn't use electricity back then."
真栄平房敬 かびし ちゅくてーる むんぬる ‘うふさいびーたる.
kabiʃi tʃukuteːru munnuru ʔuhusaibiːtaru.
"Many toys were made of paper."
真栄平房敬 ちょんちょん‘んまぐゎー ‘うっちりくぶさー ばんばたー かじまやー こーるーんでーぬ ‘あいびーたん.
tʃontʃoɴʔmmagwaː ʔuttʃirikubusaː bambataː kaʒimajaː koːruːndeːnu ʔaibiːtaɴ.
"There were doll horses, okiagari kobōshi [small doll that rights itself when knocked over], banbatā [metal disc with a handle and metal balls tied to both sides that makes a clanging sound when spun], pinwheels, spinning tops, and so on."
真栄平房敬 いなぐわらびんちゃーや ‘うふるめんたーばく まーい まーいん すーてぃーちぬ はな もーぐさんでー まるみてぃ ちゅくてぃ 
inaguwarabintʃaːja ʔuhurumentaːbaku maːi maːiɴ suːtiːtʃiɴu hana moːgusandeː marumiti tʃukuti
"For girls, utensils for playing cook… Balls were made by taking a cycad flower or rolling up mōgusa [seaweed] and…"
真栄平房敬 ぐいる なないるぬ ‘いとぅし まち ちゅくてーる むん やいびーたん.
guiru nanairunu ʔituʃi matʃi tʃukuteːru muɴ jaibiːtaɴ.
"…winding five or seven colors of string around it."
真栄平房敬 また ゆっかぬふぅぃーや まーぬ やーうてぃん ぽーぽー ちんびん ちゅくてぃ ‘うさぎやびーたん.
mata jukkanuhwiːja maːnu jaːutiɴ poːpoː tʃimbiɴ tʃukuti ʔusagijabiːtaɴ.
"Also, pōpō and chinbin [two kinds of pancakes] would be made and offered at every home on the 4th."
真栄平房敬 ちんびのー くるじゃーたー たまぐぬ しるみ むじなくー ‘あんちょー そーがーし ちゅくてぃ 
tʃimbinoː kuruʒaːtaː tamagunu ʃirumi muʒinakuː ʔantʃoː soːgaːʃi tʃukuti
"Chinbin are made using brown sugar, egg whites, wheat flour, baking powder, and ginger, …"
真栄平房敬 ぽーぽーや むじなくー ‘あんちょー ‘あったみ しるみす さーたー そーがーし ちゅくてぃ 
poːpoːja muʒinakuː ʔantʃoː ʔattami ʃirumisu saːtaː soːgaːʃi tʃukuti
"…while pōpō are made using wheat flower, baking powder, meat, white miso [fermented soy bean paste], sugar, and ginger, …"
真栄平房敬 ‘あんだんすー なーかんかい くみてぃ まちぇーし やいびーたん.
ʔandaɴsuː naːkaŋkai kumiti matʃeːʃi jaibiːtaɴ.
"…rolled up with oil miso inside."
真栄平房敬 また ゆっかぬふぅぃーや ‘うみぬ ‘うにげーんやてぃ
mata jukkanuhwiːja ʔuminu ʔunigeːɴjati
"The 4th was also the day of sea prayers,"
真栄平房敬 なーふぁ とぅまい くにんだー はーりーすーぶん ‘うくなーりやびーたん.
naːhwa tumai kunindaː haːriːsuːbuɴ ʔukunaːrijabiːtaɴ.
"and boat races would be held at Tomari in Naha and in Kume."
真栄平房敬 なまー なーふぁ とぅまいんでーや ‘うぐゎんばーりーどぅ やいびーしが
namaː naːhwa tumaindeːja ʔugwambaːriːdu jaibiːʃiga
"While prayer boat races are also held at Tomari in Naha and elsewhere nowadays,"
真栄平房敬 ‘いちゅまんうてー まぎまぎーとぅ はーりーすーぶぬ ‘うくなーっとーいびーん.
ʔitʃumaɴuteː magimagiːtu haːriːsuːbunu ʔukunaːttoːibiːɴ.
"a [particularly] grand boat race is held in Itoman."
真栄平房敬 ゆっかぬふぅぃーや ふぅぃーぬ わっさんち わらびんちゃーかい いーりむん くぃてぃ ‘うっさしみてぃ
jukkanuhwiːja hwiːnu wassantʃi warabintʃaːkai iːrimuɴ kwiti ʔussaʃimiti
"It is also said that parents would make their children happy by giving them toys"
真栄平房敬 ふにむちぇー ‘うみん ゆくてぃ ‘うぐゎん すんでぃぬ ちてーん ‘あいびーん.
hunimutʃeː ʔumiɴ jukuti ʔugwaɴ sundinu tʃiteːɴ ʔaibiːɴ.
"and sailors would take the day off from the sea to pray on the 4th because it was said to be an inauspicious day."
真栄平房敬 ぐんぐゎち ぐにちぇー ‘あまがし ちゅくてぃ ‘うさぎやいびーたん.
guŋgwatʃi gunitʃeː ʔamagaʃi tʃukuti ʔusagijaibiːtaɴ.
"On the 5th of the fifth month [of the lunar calendar], amagashi [sweet porridge made with barley, mung beans, and brown sugar] was made and offered."
真栄平房敬 くれー ‘うめーしぇー ちかーんぐとぅ そーぶぬふぁー ぐっしんびかーん ちっち ‘うめーし がわいに ちかやびたん.
kureː ʔumeːʃeː tʃikaːŋgutu soːbunuhwaː guʃʃimbikaːɴ tʃittʃi ʔumeːʃi gawaini tʃikajabitaɴ.
"People wouldn't use chopsticks for it; they would cut calamus leaves into pieces of about 5 sun [around 15.2 cm] and use them instead of chopsticks."
真栄平房敬 じゅーぐにちねー ‘うまちーぬ ‘あいびーしが
ʒuːgunitʃineː ʔumatʃiːnu ʔaibiːʃiga
"On the 15th there's the Umachī [festival]; "
真栄平房敬 にんぐゎち ぐんぐゎち るくぐゎちぬ じゅーぐにちに ‘うくなーりやびーん.
niŋgwatʃi guŋgwatʃi rukugwatʃinu ʒuːgunitʃini ʔukunaːrijabiːɴ.
"it's held on the 15th of the second, fifth, and sixth months [of the lunar calendar]."
真栄平房敬 くれー ほーさく‘うにげー すんでぃ
kureː hoːsakuʔunigeː sundi
"Prayers for an abundant harvest are offered then, "
真栄平房敬 また むんちゅー ‘あちまてぃ ‘うぐゎんすぬ ‘うまちー たみに 
mata muntʃuː ʔatʃimati ʔugwaɴsunu ʔumatʃiː tamini
"and the munchū [clans] gather together with the respective main branches of their families for the Umachī of their ancestors, …"
真栄平房敬 むーとぅやーんかい ‘あちまてぃ むんちゅー ‘うぇーかぬちゃー はんじょーぬ ‘うにげーぬ まちり やてぃ 
muːtujaːŋkai ʔatʃimati muntʃuː ʔweːkanutʃaː haɴʒoːnu ʔunigeːnu matʃiri jati
"…it being a festival of prayers for the prosperity of one's munchū relatives; …"
真栄平房敬 また ‘うぬ ふかに そーぐゎち ぐんぐゎち くんぐゎちに ‘うくなーりーる じゅーはちやー くゎんぬんぬ かいぬ ‘うにげー.
mata ʔunu hukani soːgwatʃi gungwatʃi kuŋgwatʃini ʔukunaːriːru ʒuːhatʃijaː kwannunnu kainu ʔunigeː.
"…additionally, there are the prayers at a gathering for Kannon [Buddhist deity], which are held on the 18th night of the first month of the year as well as the fifth and ninth months [of the lunar calendar]."
真栄平房敬 じゅーはちやねー くゎんぬんどー ふてぃんまぐんじん ちんぬ くゎんぬんどー でー うがでぃ
ʒuːhatʃijaneː kwannundoː hutimmaguɴʒiɴ tʃinnu kwannundoː deː ugadi
"On the 18th night, it's customary to worship at the Kannon Hall [of Shuri], Futenma Shrine, the Kannon Hall of Kin, and so on,"
真栄平房敬 やーにんじゅ どぅーがんじゅーさする ‘うにげー するぐとぅ なとーいびーん.
jaːniɴʒu duːgaɴʒuːsasuru ʔunigeː surugutu natoːibiːɴ.
"and to pray for the health of one's family."