Step back to a time before fibreglass and metal hulled boats with petrol engines, and this would have been a common sight on the calm seas surrounding the Ryukyu archipelago.
Sabani are the traditional fishing boats of Okinawa and were once hand-carved and paddled and sailed by fishermen. Despite not being used much anymore for fishing, the Sabani is far from becoming a thing of the past. A small but ultra-pasionate groups of Sabani enthusiasts are keeping the tradition alive. There is an annual Sabani race from the small island of Zamami to Naha – a distance of about 40 kms; and these photos were taken at a recent Sabani festival in Nago at which people could have a go at sailing the Sabani. It’s great to see these lovely boats out and about on the aquamarine seas of their homeland.