The first Kajimaya in Linz on August 8th 2009, 12:00-14:00

drawing by Emiko Ogawa

Kajimaya means wind wheel. Children play with wind wheels. In the year of their 97th birthday, people in Okinawa are returning to be a child and this is celebrated intensively in their communities. The costum goes back to a folktale: A long time ago the Sky God molded figures out of clay. But coming back to where he left them the day before, he found them to be destroyed every morning. It was the Earth God, who was not pleased of the idea of somebody else using his element who destroyed them each time he found them. The two Gods finally agreed that the figures which where ment to become Humans were allowed to live 100 years. After 97 years the Earth God wanted to have his clay back. The Sky God disagreed, because 100 years have not been over yet. But the Earth God argumented that is was because of the leap years that he claimed his clay back already. The two Gods again found a solution: All Humans who have lived 97 years should return into their childhood, so everything could start from the beginning. That was the beginning of Kajimaya and for the people in Okinawa it is one of the most important celebrations. Since Okinawa is the place in the world with the highest number of cenetarians, many of them were able to celebrate their Kajimaya already. On the 8th of August 12 people in Linz, who are 97 years old, will celebrate with their friends, families and Japanese people living in Linz. Not as long ago as the begin of Kajimaya and long after the 12 people celebrating their Kajimaya in Linz have been born a woman from the part in Upper Austria called the Mühlviertel and a man from Japan got married. Their son is now running the Japanese Restaurant Izakaya in Urfahr. Mother and Son have chosen three Japanese dishes which the honorees would find tasty. There will be music from Okinawa performed by the members of the band Kajimaya and the theater group Herbstwind will present their interpretation of a very popular Okinawan dance. A video of a Kajimaya in Okinawa will be screened and people in Linz can contact people in Okinawa via Skype. The wind will play with the wind wheels during the first Kajimaya in Linz to honor the 97-year old people in Linz, the true experts og longevity.

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