Attraction Ryuchu Dragon Monument Pillars

The 15-Meter Tall Ryuchu Dragon Monument


Okinawa.Org Staff
Dec 26, 2018
If you happen to take Route 58 back from Naha Airport—the roadway that leads through an underwater tunnel—as opposed to Route 332 (which eventually turns back into Route 58), you can't help but not notice the two towering Ryuchu dragon monument pillars that are at the corner of the first 4-way intersection you reach after the tunnel.

The Ryuchu dragon pillar Agyo
Dragon Pillar Agyo

The monuments were created to celebrate the 30th annual Friendship City agreement signed between Naha City and Fuzhou City, China, in 1981.

The Ryuchu dragon pillar Ungyo.jpg
Dragon Pillar Ungyo

Made of granite stone and standing in at 15-meters tall and 3-meters wide, they are a marvel to look at up close and in person.

Next time you're in the area of Naminoue Beach or visiting Naminouegu Shrine, take a stop by Ryuchu and see them up close and in person.

Ryuchu dragon monument information
Ryuchu Monument Information

Ryuchu Dragon Pillar Monument Information said:
The dragon pillar monument was created to commemorate the friendship and exchange between Naha City and Fuzhou City, China, which in 2011 celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Friendship City agreement signed in 1981. The dragon pillars are 15 meters tall, 3 meters wide, and are made of granite stone produced in Fujian Province, China.

The monument is installed on the coast of Wakasa, which is a part of the symbolic axis of Naha City that runs from the Wakasa coast to Shuri via Kokusai Street, identified in the Master Plan of Naha City as the spine of history and culture.

Founded on topography, feng shui (geomancy), history and culture, the monument design is closely associated with the Shurijo Castle drawing on the symbolic axis connecting Shuri, Kokusai Street and Wakasa.

Design and construction in the Ryukyuan Kingdom era was centered on the concept of feng shui, which influenced the arrangement of the natural features and buildings of Shurijo Castle, the seat of the Royal Government. The dragons in the Seiden (state hall) of the castle are the most notable examples of this design. All of the five-dragon motifs with the precious gem balls face the Una forecourt to form longmai, or the flow of dragon energy in feng shui. The monument in Wakasa was designed after the dragon pillars in the Una forecourt which are characterized by unique form found nowhere else but in Okinawa.

The pillars are vertical quadrangular prisms with carvings depicting: (1) dragons coiled up and their heads elevated; (2) the forelegs held forward in the upper and lower positions, with the upper foreleg holding the precious gem ball; and (3) a dragon pair, one with its mouth open (Agyo) and the other with its mouth closed (Ungyo). The combination of (2) and (3) are features common to the Statues of the Nio (benevolent kings).

The dragon pillars at the Shurijo Castle Seiden have vertical quadrangular prism bodies that are connected to the balustrade of the rear steps.

The dragon pillar monument at Wakasa is an extension of the dragon pillars at the Seiden. Instead of being connected to the balustrade or sitting on a pedestal, the dragons emerge directly from the ground, forming an energy flow from Shuri to Wakasa via Kokusai Street.

The dragon pillar monument faces the ocean towards Nirai Kanai, the land of abundance beyond the seas, in prayers for peace and development.
The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of Okinawa.Org.
Ryuchu, 1 Chome-26 Wakasa, Naha, Okinawa, Japan

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