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Ogusuku Area where Filled with Wonderful Flowers and Art (Ogusuku, Kitanakagusuku Village)
post : 2017.04.12 18:00
There are about 370 of residents in Ogusuku area, Kitanakagusuku Village. It is a small area, but it is filled with lots of treasures. It is a gateway to one of the world heritage sites named Nakagusuku Castle Site, and one of the national important cultural properties called the Nakamura House is also located in this area.
The best treasures of this area are that the gardens of each housing and every hole and corner are very clean, and flowers and plants are growing everywhere from along prefectural roads to small paths! This whole area seems like a garden.
Besides greenery, handmade shisa made by residents and big objects made by students at Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts and artists are placed here and there. Such view cannot be seen anywhere but here.
Ogusuku area was selected as one of “the 500 paths that want to walk in Japan,” “good streetscape award,” and “the 100 best views in Okinawa.” These results show how good this area is.
Ogusuku area holds an annual event called “Suujigwa Weekend Art Museum,” and this whole area turns out as an art museum for the event.
For “Suujigwa Weekend Art Museum,” residents open their gardens to the public for garden tours, and a pottery fest takes place near the Nakamura House. Also, an exhibition, a bazaar, and live music performance are held at a community center.
Actually, the beginning of “Suujigwa Weekend Art Museum” was the garden tour, and it was the first time that garden tour was held in Okinawa.
It has been 17 years since a group called “Hanasaka Jijii-kai” started this event for the first time. The local men who are 55 years old and older are in the group, and members in their 70s are engaged in activity mainly.
Each member has different specialties. Some with wisdom cast their ideas into shape, some are experts at growing orchids (top-class cultivators in Okinawa), and some are good at playing sanshin. It is also enjoyable to chat with such members at their gardens and the community center.
The activity of “Hanasaka Jijii-kai” is not just this event. They get together in the morning on Sunday of every 1st and 3rd of the month to trim flowers and trees in the area.
Their watchword is “scoops on right hands, and beers on left hands,” so
they get together at an outdoor meeting place (former bus stop) called “Ogusuku Kissaten” after the activity, and they hold a meeting while drinking beer.
Numerous ideas including “Suujigwa Weekend Art Museum” were generated here.
There is Agarinu Kaa (fountain) behind Ogusuku Kissaten, and it has been there since the old days. Agarinu Kaakumui (pond), located right next to the fountain, is functioning as a biotope of small living creatures.
And, large biscuit objects are decorated at an outdoor plaza behind the community center and throughout the area. It is part of a project with students at Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts, and they created about 100 objects every year for 10 years.
This time, a panel exhibition to show how those objects were created by students was held. Also, a workshop for biscuit firing took place during the event.
For the first time, another workshop for children was held. They experienced stone bond and made flowerbeds.
From the evening, a small music live show took place at a garden of the community center. Mr. Komesu of “Hanasaka Jijii-kai” sang and played his sanshin. Young musicians who has connection with Kinanakagusuku Village also performed for the event.
It was very impressive to look when local people from young to elderly got together and interacted with tourists.
Mr. Hokama, the president of “Hanasaka Jijii-kai,” said to me,
“this is the event to report the result of our activity and meet many people, and it is also our enjoyment. There is nothing special for this event, but that is good enough for us if people walk with happiness.”
Not only on the day of this event, but Ogusuku area is always clean and beautiful, so it is recommended to walk around with your camera or just stop by.
*Map of Ogusuku, Kitanakagusuku Village
*Ogusuku Community Association
*Blog of “Hanasaka Jijii-kai”
Okinawa CLIP photo writer Hiroshi Kuwamura (KUWA)