May 4th on the Chinese calendar is the day of “Haarii” or “Hare”, Okinawa’s dragon boat, and the dragon boat races are held on this day or its weekend in Okinawa, especially in the southern part of Okinawa Island where traditional events and festivities are practiced according to the lunar calendar.
In 2016, June 8th was that day, and many locals and tourists gathered in Itoman for Itoman Hare, one of the biggest dragon boat races in the prefecture.
I went to the fishing town on the southern edge of Okinawa Island to cover the story for a travel website this year.
Here are some actions from Itoman Hare:
In the final race of the Hare festival called AGAISUBU, the Hare teams from the three old villages of Itoman row 2,185 meters. It’s probably the most exciting race of the festival and the most physically demanding one for the rowers for sure.
If you happened to be around in Okinawa during this time of the year, I highly recommend attending this event to see exciting races and perhaps to catch a duck as well.