Akata Sundunchi

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Akata Sundunchi (赤田首里殿内) is a traditional Okinawan song about Maitreya, a Buddhist bodhisattva. The song is named after the Ufuamushirare Temple in Akata Village, part of Shuri, Okinawa.



The worship of Maitreya, known in Okinawan as Miruku Unkee (弥勒御迎), was adopted by the Ryukyuan religion where he is associated with Nirai Kanai. He was enshrined at the Ufuamushirare Temple near Shuri Castle and received royal patronage from the King of Ryukyu. The song, Akata Sundunchi, was sung during the Maitreya festival on the 16th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, which is now held on the Sunday closest to July 16. [1] The festival disappeared during the late 20th century, but was revived and has been held annually since 1994. [2] The song is usually accompanied by sanshin. [3] It has become a popular children's song.


The second verse is sometimes placed after the third, and the fourth is sometimes absent.

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  1. Naha City Museum of History. Shundunchi atō 首里殿内跡 (in Japanese). Naha City Historic Sites. http://www.rekishi-archive.city.naha.okinawa.jp/archives/site/%E9%A6%96%E9%87%8C%E6%AE%BF%E5%86%85%E8%B7%A1 (accessed February 7, 2017).
  2. Chibana, Megumi and Mark Ealey. "Miruku Unke parade held to pray for good health," Ryukyu Shimpo. August 21, 2012. http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp/2012/09/06/7884/
  3. Ealey, Mark. "Miminme festival held to pray for good crops," Ryukyu Shimpo. May 12, 2013. http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp/2013/05/21/10344/