Ryukyu Horse Racing- Umaharashii 2017

Horse racing on Okinawa has a history which goes back 300 years, from the time of the Ryukyu Dynasty up until WWII.
Unlike horse racing based solely on speed, Ryukyu horse racing was unlike any other in the world. A 200 meter distance sets the stage for horses to compete not only in speed, but in the beauty of their footwork. Umaharashii was an important part of the island’s culture and heritage, and over 150 race tracks existed throughout Okinawa up until 70 years ago.
Right before the war, however, as the animals became reformed into bigger and stronger horses for the Japanese military, their relationsihp with the Okinawans could not be sustained, and in 1943 the last horse race was held in Naha.

Last updated: 27 December, 2016

29 January, 2017


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