News Icon

News: Camp Courtney opens gates for Hijiki Festival

Story by Sgt. Rebekka HeiteSmall RSS IconSubscriptions Icon

Camp Courtney opens gates for Hijiki Festival Sgt. Rebekka Heite

Hijiki harvesters transport their day’s labor up the Camp Courtney beach, Feb. 20. Camp Courtney opens its gates to the residents of Kunbu, Tengan, Akano, Uken and a Fisherman’s Association from Ishikawa for the Hijiki Festival. The Hijiki Festival consists of 10 low-tide days in February and March where the sub-village residents harvest hijiki, or seaweed, from the beach’s shoreline.

CAMP COURTNEY, Japan - Fishermen from the Ishikawa Prefecture Fisherman’s Association and more than 200 people from Kunbu, Tengan, Akano and Uken villages attended the opening of the Hijiki Festival on Camp Courtney, Feb. 20.

Camp Courtney opens its beach to the residents of the four sub-villages and the fisherman’s association for 10 low-tide days during February and March so they can harvest hijiki from the beach’s shoreline every year.

Hijiki, or brown seaweed, grows wild on rocky coastlines around Japan, Korea and China.

“Hijiki is good for health and long life,” said Sueko Kudaka, an Akano resident who harvested hijiki during this year’s festival. “You don’t want to miss the first day; by the second it’s all gone.”

This year’s first day was on a Monday, which made it possible for the older residents to harvest more hijiki because the younger residents were at work, she added.

Those who harvest the seaweed are free to eat it themselves or sell it. They are limited to two bags per person, according to Ichiro Umehara, community relations specialist for Camp Courtney.

“I boil, dry and eat the seaweed throughout the year,” said Gerald Denney, a retired U.S. Army veteran who lives on Okinawa. “My wife has a big family, so we use it all.”

Once harvested, the hijiki is used in ceremonies and as food.

“We boil the seaweed for two hours and then put it on the floor to dry,” said Kudaka. “We use the dried seaweed in rice and in fish patties.”

“Once dry, the seaweed can be used for 10 years,” she added.
At the end of a day of harvesting hijiki, Kudaka said she is always tired.

“But I always come back the next year,” she said.


Connected Media
ImagesCamp Courtney opens...
A local resident harvests hijiki, or seaweed, from the...
ImagesCamp Courtney opens...
Harvesters use kamas to harvest hijiki, or seaweed, from...
ImagesCamp Courtney opens...
Residents from four sub-villages on Okinawa harvest...
ImagesCamp Courtney opens...
Local residents harvest hijiki from the Camp Courtney...
ImagesCamp Courtney opens...
Fishermen from the Ishikawa Prefecture Fisherman’s...
ImagesCamp Courtney opens...
After cutting hijiki, or seaweed from the rocks along...
ImagesCamp Courtney opens...
Harvesters cart bags of hijiki seaweed up the Camp...
ImagesCamp Courtney opens...
Harvesters work together to move their freshly cut...
ImagesCamp Courtney opens...
Hijiki harvesters transport their day’s labor up the...


Web Views
32
Downloads
0

Podcast Hits
0



Public Domain Mark
This work, Camp Courtney opens gates for Hijiki Festival, by Sgt Rebekka Heite, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:02.20.2012

Date Posted:02.27.2012 18:31

Location:CAMP COURTNEY, OKINAWA, JP

More Like This

  • Camp Courtney-based Marines joined more than 150 Japanese volunteers for the 23rd annual Tengan River Cleanup in Uruma City near the camp April 24.
  • In honor of African-American History month, the Okinawa chapter of the National Naval Officers Association hosted a mess night for service members and guests of III Marine Expeditionary Force here Feb. 26 at the Tengan Castle.
  • Marine Corps Community Services Athletics hosted the 2012 Camp Courtney Open-Water Triathlon on Camp Courtney April 29.
  • As a cool ocean breeze cuts across the water, an elderly man standing in knee-deep surf slices through the water with a scythe. Within a few seconds he harvests a handful of seaweed, known as hijiki.

Options

  • Army
  • Marines
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • National Guard

HOLIDAY GREETINGS

SELECT A HOLIDAY:

VIDEO ON DEMAND

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Flickr