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Get to Know Some Special Spots on the Main Island and Feel the Mystical Ryukyuan Legends Through [Machi Meguri (“town tours”)]
post : 2020.10.23 07:00
Okinawa is known to have a great number of legends throughout its islands. There are tales of gods that created Okinawa, those of heart wrenching love stories, and a wide range of others that are all so fascinating and thought-provoking. In this article, we will introduce three spots that are especially interesting to visit on a Machi Meguri, or a town tour that you and your family or friends will enjoy. These spots offer a peek into the charms of Okinawa that you may have yet to discover.
“Hamahiga Island”, an Island that Tells the Legendary Beginnings of Ryukyu
In the local creation myth, Hamahiga Island is said to be the very first island of Okinawa. Some say that the history of Ryukyu began with the goddess Amamikiyo and god Shinerikiyo, younger sister and older brother deities.
Even today, it is known as an island where the gods live, and many people from within the prefecture visit the island regularly to pray for prosperity of descendants and good health. The photos shown are of "Agarino Utaki" near the Hama district. Surrounding this sacred site are magnificent banyan trees that appear to protect the sacred site, and the sunlight spilling through the branches create a divine atmosphere.
Information on Hamahiga Island
Katsuren-hama, Uruma City, Okinawa
(There are signs near the fishing port)
Mui-nu Ka Springs in Mashiki, Ginowan City, Where the Hagoromo Legend Still Remains
Like other areas in Japan and abroad, Okinawa also has its own Hagoromo legend (the legend of a celestial maiden and her robe). For some, it may be surprising that a tropical paradise like Okinawa also has such a legend, but the legend of Hagoromo and the Mui-nu Ka spring that the legend takes place in Mashiki, Ginowan City, are widely known across the prefecture.
The clear spring water that flows from the masonry is highly transparent. The historical figure who is a part of this legend is Satto, the king of Chuzan, who propelled Ryukyu in overseas trade. A celestial maiden was bathing at the Mui-nu Ka spring, and a farmer, Okuma Ufuya fell in love with her. It is said that after the farmer and the maiden married, Satto was born.
Mui-nu Ka is a great spot to trace the legends of "Satto," a great historical figure who laid the foundation for Ryukyu. You can still feel the beautiful atmosphere here.
Information on Mui-nu Ka Koen
Address: 1-24-1 Mashiki, Ginowan City, Okinawa
The Mystical Legends of the Tamaudun Mausoleum Where Ryukyuan Kings Were Laid to Rest
The atmosphere created by the masonry that speaks of its history through its carved surfaces is sacred and serene. Tamaudun, which is registered as one of the World Heritage Sites, "Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu," is located near Shurijo Castle in Kinjo-cho, Naha City. In this segment, we are not introducing a king, but a fortune teller, "Mukuta Ufutuchi". He is said to have saved the king's son from illness by praying to the gods.
Mukuta Ufutuchi, who gained the deep trust of the king, came to serve in the royal government by offering his predictions regarding weather and when to plant crops. But in one incident, it is said that his fortune-telling based on numerology turned out wrong, and he was to be executed. It is said that King Sho Shin, the king who reigned the kingdom at that time, was deeply saddened about the execution and had laid the remains of Mukuta Ufutuchi in the royal mausoleum of Tamaudun, alongside the past kings of Ryukyu.
Tamaudun was a mausoleum built for the kings and is an excellent place to learn more about the history of the royal lineage, but learning about such episodes in history that not many know, is also what makes history so interesting. Through further and deeper understanding of Okinawa and its history, we’re certain you’ll uncover more tales and legends that make these islands so fascinating.
Information on the Tamaudun
Address: 1-3 Kinjo, Naha City, Okinawa
When visiting Okinawa, you’ll likely want to know more about the islands each time you visit. In this article, we introduced three legendary spots that are deeply rooted in the local culture. If you get a chance, we recommend that you visit these and other historical sites with a local guide. The more you know about Okinawa's unique culture, the more you’ll be enchanted by these islands.
Okinawa CLIP Editorial Dept.