Image 1 of 1

051029_OKINAWA_1736.jpg

Download
Chiyo Ameku, 78, says her ikigai--or reason living--is her role as a noro, or priestess, of her village in Motubu. On the first and fifteenth of each month, she offers formal prayers to ancestors for the safety, health, and happiness of her people..Chiyo Ameku sits with two other priestesses, Igami, right, and Negami, left. Leadership positions in the Okinawan religion are passed down through maternal lines...Today we had an equally rare opportunity to see a noro, or priestess, do a ceremony. These are normally incredibly private rituals done just for the family or for the community. We found ourselves sitting right in the middle of it. ..Okinawans believe that women possess a special sense or an ability to communicate with the gods. But actually the genesis of noro goes back about 400 years when the king made women religious leaders to divest powers away from men...Translator: First she prayed toward that shrine in regards to the health of the children and abundant harvest for the whole village. ..Dan: What happens if they miss these prayers?..Translator: It's not a matter of what will happen or this and that. It's just that this is my duty that I have been given from my ancestors. ..Dan: I asked her if there was any kind of connection between Okinawan longevity and her religion and she said absolutely. She pointed to the fact that when people who leave the village, lose the religion, move to the big city, they often get sick. And when they come back, she counsels them to get back into the religion, continue to do the prayers to the ancestors. And she recounted time and time again these people would get better. Whether it's a psychosomatic response or whether there's some religious explanation, we didn't know...What we do know is that there are scores of scientific studies that show there is a connection between religiosity and longevity. Perhaps the most convincing one was done out of Duke University that showed that people who go to church at least four times a m
Copyright
© 2005 Gianluca Colla
Image Size
4368x2912 / 11.5MB
Contained in galleries
Okinawa, the island of centenarians
Chiyo Ameku, 78, says her ikigai--or reason living--is her role as a noro, or priestess, of her village in Motubu. On the first and fifteenth of each month, she offers formal prayers to ancestors for the safety, health, and happiness of her people..Chiyo Ameku sits with two other priestesses, Igami, right, and Negami, left. Leadership positions in the Okinawan religion are passed down through maternal lines...Today we had an equally rare opportunity to see a noro, or priestess, do a ceremony. These are normally incredibly private rituals done just for the family or for the community. We found ourselves sitting right in the middle of it. ..Okinawans believe that women possess a special sense or an ability to communicate with the gods. But actually the genesis of noro goes back about 400 years when the king made women religious leaders to divest powers away from men...Translator: First she prayed toward that shrine in regards to the health of the children and abundant harvest for the whole village. ..Dan: What happens if they miss these prayers?..Translator: It's not a matter of what will happen or this and that. It's just that this is my duty that I have been given from my ancestors. ..Dan: I asked her if there was any kind of connection between Okinawan longevity and her religion and she said absolutely. She pointed to the fact that when people who leave the village, lose the religion, move to the big city, they often get sick. And when they come back, she counsels them to get back into the religion, continue to do the prayers to the ancestors. And she recounted time and time again these people would get better. Whether it's a psychosomatic response or whether there's some religious explanation, we didn't know...What we do know is that there are scores of scientific studies that show there is a connection between religiosity and longevity. Perhaps the most convincing one was done out of Duke University that showed that people who go to church at least four times a m