Sightseeing Twenty Minutes to Kill in Tomigusuku

David

Founder
Okinawa.Org Staff
Trusted Blogger
I had just about 20 minutes to kill before having to make an errand today. I decided to open up the map and zoom in to the area where I was located on the map.

Lo and behold, there were three historical sites in a row that could be hit fairly easy, one of which I ran out of time to get to but could easily be done had I had time otherwise.

I drove down the narrow road to the first one:

The Shisa (Stone Lion) of Nakachi

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The sign next to it reads:
The Shisa of Nakachi is located on the western end of the settlement, enshrined at the entrance and facing away from the neighborhood, toward Prefectural Route 231 (commonly known as the Itoman highway). It is believed to be positioned this way to prevent malicious spirits from entering the area. The Shisa has been revered by the people as a protective deity since long ago, and even today, it is cherished by the people as spiritual symbol in the local events such as the Shisa Ugami held to pray for safety of the residents on August 15 of the lunar calendar, and in Abushibare in April of the lunar calendar.

There are detailed lores passed down in the area of a Shisa that was positioned at the square at the northern end of the settlement, referred to as Shi-shi-nu-me, at the time of the Meiji Period. It is said that the Shisa was moved to its present location in the Meiji Period upon a decision in a residential meeting, due to plans for the construction of a main road (the present Prefectural Route 231) at the western side of the settlement.

Even today, the Shisa is contributing to the safety of the area’s traffic, as it oversees a heavily congested area. The Shisa will continue to quietly watch over the people in and around Nakachi in the future as well.
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About 200 meters farther down the road is another site, the Banji Kawa, a historical monument of some sort.

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