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EPISODE 3 pt.1 🌺 Hajichi with Co Lewis, June Owatari and Hilson Reidpath

Episode 3... part 1!

Rite of passage? Protection from abduction? Markings that grant access to aspects of the afterlife? An all but obsolete cultural practice?

Join co-host Mariko with guest speakers Co Lewis, June Owatari and Hilson Reidpath as they take a dive into the Ryukyuan practice of Hajichi, or traditional Ryukyuan hand tattoo. We will look at hajichi historically, present day hajichi revival in the United States, as well as ponder what hajichi might look like in the future. ... and of course, we’ll end with our Okinawa fun fact of the day. Stay tuned for part 2 of this episode, releasing next month!

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Show Notes:

1899: Hajichi Banned

Hajichi and the Afterglow of the Woman of the Southern Islands: Tattooing of Okinawa and Miyako Islands - Directed by Kitamura Minao (Title translated by Hilson Reidpath) 南島残照女たちの刺青(ハジチ):沖縄・宮古島諸島のイレズミ ROACH (Band)

“It hurt, but I persevered and just fought the pain. None of us said that it hurt. The others did it that way so I did too, just fought the pain. This is a pain women must suffer. There were many painful needles that pierced me and my mother would say, “There would be countless difficulties when you marry into a family, you have to endure, become a good wife and don’t cause me concern. You must get through it.” So I took the initiative and got hajichi. This sort of parental teaching is bound into hajichi.” –Yamagusuku Ushi (0:40)

“Thoughts on Tattoo’s of the Southern Islands”

Ichijibushi: Five point star (Images from Irezumi - Misato chiiku - Okinawa-shi bunkazai chosa hokoku dai 8 shu, Okinawa-shi kyoiku iinkai, 1985 / Hajichi (Misato area), Okinawa City Cultural Assets Investigation Report # 8, Okinawa City Board of Educationk, 1985)

Tiida: Sun

“The longing for the first hajichi circles around my heart, from the night of the first tattooing my wish is fulfilled and I feel safe.” –Minyo, Hajichi song (Lyrics and images from しまうた百話ー黒潮列島の謡たち・ 仲宗根幸市・1983/ Shimauta Hyakuwa - Kuroshio retto no utaitachi, Nakasone Koichi, Okinawa Koron Sha, 1983 / 100 Shimauta - Singers from the islands of the Black Current, Nakasone Koichi (author), Okinawa Koron Sha (publisher), 1983)

Toyama Ushi


June Owatari (they/them): Website: Instagram: Mastadon: Co Lewis (she /her): Shimanchu Hajichi Revival website: Shimanchu Hajichi Revival Instagram: Email: Hilson Reidpath (he/him):



Nifee deebiru to Brandon Ufugusuku Ing for the music for the fun fact!

Oki Phrase of the Day / Oki Fun Fact of the Day:

Author, Lee Tonouchi Illustrator, Laura Kina


Huge thank you to Emma Norie and Joseph Kamiya for audio editing and mastering.


Donations to Ichariba Choodee are very much appreciated!


Would you like to share your thoughts or own stories about hajichi? Feel free to email us at


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