Hashin’

Well, thanks to Hensley, I was introduced to a little thing called Hash House Harriers. He was very tight-lipped about it, treating the activity as if it was some secret cult. I knew it involved running, following some sort of marked trail, and drinking. Those happen to be three things I enjoy doing, so my curiosity was piqued. The first run — or Hash, as it is called — I went to in the beginning of September, but I never brought my camera until several weeks later. The Okinawa Hash House Harriers are apparently typical of all Hash House Harrier groups all over the world; they are a strange and eclectic mix of people. The rules are very arbitrary and strict, and the pre- and after festivities are steeped in tradition but must look silly to whoever passes by, or someone who attends for the first time.
The essence of the weekly events are the actual trail, where a ‘Hare’ lays a set of markings with chalk or what appears to be ground-up newspaper (“chad”), and the rest of the group starts off later to follow the trail. There is really no winner, even in the rare instance when someone catches the Hare, and the first person to finish, along with the last person, has to drink for their transgression. That’s about all I can say about it; I might have already said too much. These photos are of one such Hash, but they can only tell a small part of the story.

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A worn running shoe, and the ‘hash’ or ‘chad’ to mark a trail

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Hydrating myself with the beverage of choice before the Hash begins

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The van used for Hashing, owned by the group, which appears to have been passed down since long ago

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You write your name (or nickname — “Hash name”) in chalk at the finish

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Where the festivities were conducted after this particular Hash, near a waterfall

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The grand master of this group, hitting an offender in the face with fruit punch, in lieu of a beer

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Two individuals getting doused on the occasion of their last Hash

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Singing one of the many songs I have not been able to memorize yet. Typically well-known tunes with the lyrics replaced by questionable verses