Miyako: Ogoe!

English: Oh my gosh!

Japanese: Wah!

Within the Miyako Islands, each village has their own unique dialects besides Japanese. It's a completely different language and sounds very foreign. Nowadays, young people do not use those dialects, but many of the older population still talk among their friends using those dialects.


Kuichaa is a dance that people in Miyako Island perform to celebrate the aftermath of harsh times. This dance can also act as a prayer for good harvest or rain. Even today, the kuichaa dance celebrates happy occasions such as weddings. 2002 marked the 100th anniversary after the Head Stone Tax (go to "History" for detail) was abolished, so to mark this event, the citizens of Miyako Island decided to host a "Kuichaa Festival" every year. With this, they hope to pass down their cultural event down many generations.

Miyako Jofu

Miyako Jofu is a traditional clothing ("kimono") in Miyako Island that has continued for the past 400 years. This high quality fabric can only be produced in Miyako Island. A long time ago, during the reign of the Ryukyu Kingdom, this very fabric was wanted by and given to Ryukyu kings and China as tribute. When the Head Stone Tax was made, women had to pay tax with Miyako Jofu. Miyako Jofu is very soft to the touch and can feel cool in the summer, so it is comfortable to wear even during hot days. This matches perfectly to Miyako Island's weather.


In October, monsters called Pantu come in three's, wearing masks and holding canes. Their bodies are covered with mud and leaves, making them look frightening. They put mud on random people, houses, cars, and everywhere else! They go through all that trouble to chase away bad spirits and bring in good fortune to the village. Unfortunately for the small children, their screams of terror can be heard throughout the village all night long.
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