Hari (or Hare) dragon boat racing is a traditional Okinawan event held to pray for safety at sea and plentiful catches for fishermen.
The Itoman Hare is a traditional dragon boat racing event that takes place every year in Itoman Fishing Port on May 4th (of the old Japanese calendar). It is attended by over 30,000 people each year.
The Itoman Hare originated as a religious event, and begins and ends with ugwan (prayers) dedicated to ocean deities, praying for safety at sea and plentiful catches for local fishermen. The Hare boat races also begin with an Ugwan Bare ("Prayer Hare"); followed by races held more for entertainment purposes, including between junior high school students, the "kunnukase" (the capsize race), and races between working people; and culminating in the Agai Subu race.
Of all of the diverse Hare races taking place during the event, the Agai Subu held as the grand finale is a must-see. The Agai Subu takes place over the longest distance of all the races, at 2,150m (the Ugwan Bare covers a distance of 850m), with competitors rowing with all their strength and skill, displaying their spirit and prowess as men of the sea. It is a unique occasion that enables spectators to enjoy a traditional Okinawan event up close.
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|Venue||Itoman Fishing Port in Nakachi|
|Parking||Available / Free|