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The Shimanchu Tarot Project

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About the project

This entirely Okinawan collaborative project features Shimanchu (Okinawan/Ryukyuan), reimaginings of the Major Arcana from the Tarot.

The project centers around the 22 Major Arcana, or archetypes, as found in the Rider-Waite Tarot, which are reimagined through the creative minds of 29 different artists of Okinawan ancestry from around the world. We have allowed for more than one interpretation of an archetype, as we believe there is wisdom and nuance in our intuition.  (ie. you will see that there are three versions of 'III -The Empress', two versions of 'XVIII - The Moon', two versions of 'XXI - The World', etc.)

The project began in 2021 and we are finally ready to unveil the collection of artwork for this project! While at this time we have focused on the Major Arcana, we hope to release the Minor Arcana as well as a series of artwork from non-Shimanchu artists and allies in the future.

As we are still working on producing the actual tarot cards and the companion book, we have released a limited promotional poster!  You can choose from two sizes of poster: medium size poster: 18 x 24 inches or large size poster: 24 x 36 inches. Please see below for details and how to purchase.

100% of the proceeds from this project (poster, tarot deck, book, and any other future items) will be donated to a cause or non-profit of the artist collective's choosing.  Donations are of course gratefully appreciated.

Ippee nifee deebiru for your support of the artists, the vision, and this project!

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Limited Release Poster

Medium Size | $22 USD + Shipping

Shimanchu Tarot Project: The Major Arcana | 18x24in

Large Size | $27 USD + Shipping

Shimanchu Tarot Project: The Major Arcana Poster | 24x36in

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The Vision

As these images are intended to be used as a means of divination, they are currently being reviewed by a small collaborative group of Shimanchu folx who are distilling their interpretations. 

Each archetype will feature the traditional English word and will be accompanied by an Uchinaaguchi word. In cases where there is an Uchinaaguchi word that better represented the artist's imagining of the archetype, that word will be used. 

These distillations will be compiled into a companion reference book, which will help to provide some suggestions on how to interpret a card and illuminate any symbolisim for the person divining or drawing the card. 

Woven into these interpretations are Okinawan history, folklore, traditional and modern symbolism, and personal reflections from the writing group. 

In addition to the description, the Uchinaaguchi word choice and meaning are explicitly stated, so that parallels can be drawn between the English words as well as making Uchinaaguchi more accessible to non-speakers.

Adding another dimension to drawing a card, the book will include suggested Okinawan musical inspirations linked to an online playlist that can accompany a reading. 

We will also include some guiding information on how to use these cards as well as unique spreads for divining for a specific purpose. 

Finally, the book features each artist & collaborator including their bio, website, social media, as well as ancestral roots in the Ryukyus.

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The Artists

Seiji Igei

Michelle Nakazato Mikaro

Karen Yui

Asaya Plumbly

Paris Rae Iha

Mariko Middleton

Koji Yonamine

Nami Oshiro

Megumi Mast

Leandro Akamine

Maya Stoner

Thad Higa

Lisa Takamiyagi

Nancy Nishihira

Hanako Gavia

Jessica Yamada

Courtney Nakaishi Reyes

Nadya Gushiken

Laura Kina

André Eiji

Hiromi Toma

Kyle Yukawa

Kim Kobashigawa

Keila Sachi Gaballo

Lexi Wagor

Adriana Miyagusuku         

Andrés Tokashiki

Angela Yuriko Smith

Yumi Sakugawa

The Collaborators

Mariko Middleton

Sho Yamagushiku

Alice Kurima Newberry

June Owatari

Paris Rae Iha

Angela Yuriko Smith

Joey Kamiya

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Get Involved

Please be in touch if you are interested in helping with our booklet or would like to contribute art for a future release of the Minor Arcana.  We will be accepting artwork from both people of Okinawan ancestry as well as those who are allies.  If you'd like to get involved, please send Mariko and email at

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The Shimanchu Tarot Project

© 2024 The Shimanchu Tarot Project

Project organized by Mariko Middleton

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