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A Journey to Discover the Foundations of Ryukyuan Culture! Historical Spots That Will Take You Back in Time
post : 2020.10.19 07:00
A long time ago, the three regions of Sanzan (literally meaning 'three mountains' and referred to as Hokuzan, Chuzan, and Nanzan; northern, central, and southern mountains, respectively) were unified as Ryukyu Kingdom. Did you know that one of the areas that laid the foundation for this is Urasoe City? In this article, we will introduce some spots in Urasoe City, where you can feel the foundation and paths of Ryukyuan culture, and also in the adjacent Ginowan City, too!
Experience the Etiquette of Buku Buku Cha Tea Ceremony. Ryukyuan Tea Ceremony to Wish for a Safe Journey
"Buku Buku Cha" is a traditional Okinawan tea and you can experience an authentic Buku Buku Cha ceremony at the "Akeshino-no Kai" in Ahacha, Urasoe City. As the name "Buku Buku" suggests, it is served with bubbles (as 'buku buku' is a Japanese onomatopoeia to describe bubbles). It is said that the tea was served to those departing for distant lands by those sending them off, wishing for their safe travels and for the purpose of enjoying a leisurely time with tea before departure.
The taste that conveys the feelings of one sending someone off, is a slightly sweet and gentle taste. The Buku Buku tea experience begins with adorning a beautiful Bingata. If you have the opportunity, experience the ancient culture of Okinawa at the Akeshino-no Kai. We promise that the subtly soft and sweet taste of Buku Buku Cha will be a precious memory of your trip to Okinawa.
Information on Ryukyuan School of Buku Buku Cha Tea Ceremony, Akeshino-no Kai
Address: 3-8-6 Ahacha, Urasoe City, Okinawa
At the National Theatre Okinawa, Get to Know Tamagusuku Chokun, the Father of Okinawa’s Traditional Performing Art, the Kumiodori
"Kumiodori" is a traditional Okinawan opera filled with highlights such as dance and dialogue. It is said that the Ryukyu government commissioned Tamagusuku Chokun as Odori Bugyo, or a royal dance magistrate, to create this performing art to entertain the Sapposhi envoys from China.
Kumiodori is registered as an important intangible cultural property of Japan but this valuable cultural property can be enjoyed by anyone at the "National Theatre Okinawa" in Urasoe City. There is also a permanent exhibit inside the facility, where you can learn more about the history of Kumiodori and its founder, Tamagusuku Chokun. A list of Kumiodori performances can be viewed on the official website, and we recommend that you check their website before you visit.
Information on the National Theatre Okinawa
Address: 4-14-1 Jitchaku, Urasoe City, Okinawa
Mui-nu Ka in Ginowan; the Legendary Birthplace of King Satto, a Historical Figure Who Laid the Foundation for the Establishment of the Ryukyu Kingdom
"Satto" has a deep connection with Urasoe City, so much so that even the community currency is named after him. He is also known as the King of Chuzan during the Sanzan period. Satto is said to have been born in Ginowan City, and a legendary tale surrounds his birth, known as the "Hagoromo Densetsu" or the "robe of a heavenly maiden". It is one of the most well-known legends among the local Okinawans.
The place where the Hagoromo legend was born is "Mui-nu Ka", a spring that never dries and situated in Mui-nu Ka Koen Park in Mashiki, Ginowan City. A poor peasant fell in love with a celestial maiden who was bathing here at the spring, and eventually, they had children and one of them would later become King Satto. One day, the celestial maiden learned the location of her Hagoromo robe that she had lost at the spring when she had met the peasant, from the lyrics of a song that her daughter sang. She sadly bid her children farewell and left to return to the heavens. With this legend and its beauty, the Mui-nu Ka spring was selected as a "Scenic Place of Beauty of Okinawa Prefecture. Located next to the spring is a sacred site of worship called the Ugannukata, and the lush and sacred atmosphere is surrounded by a feeling of openness.
Information on Mui-nu Ka Koen Park
Address: 1-24-1 Mashiki, Ginowan City, Okinawa
So, what did you think? Urasoe, which was the center of trade during the era of great trade with Asian countries, still has many spots and attractions that many of you may not be familiar with yet! Do a little research before you visit and encounter great discoveries in this fascinating area, and the more you learn about it, the more you'll be enchanted by the wonderful city.
Okinawa CLIP Editorial Dept.