Showing posts with label taketomi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label taketomi. Show all posts

Monday, September 20, 2021

Flowers of Taketomi Island

Taketomi 竹富島

I don't often take photos of flowers. I quite like flowers, and they are obviously beautiful, but I am not obsessed with them.

All these shots were taken on Taketomi Island in Okinawa, a sub-tropical environment with some large and spectacular flowers.

I visited in an April, so don't know what the floral offerings are at other times of the year.

I also have absolutely no oidea of the names of any of these flowers, in English, Japanese, nor Lation.

This display was in front of the village school, or maybe the former village school. One could easily imagine oneself in England.

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Friday, June 18, 2021

Taketomi Beaches


Taketomi Island, a small island a few kilometers from the larger Ishigaki island in what is now Okinawa Prefecture, is a very popular tourist site that visitors come to primarily to see the picturesque traditional village, and to take a ride in a cart pulled by water buffalo.

However the island also has a couple of rather nice beaches, one a little rocky, the oyjer with fine white sand.

We visited in April, out of season, and so the beaches were deserted. Also it was an overcast day so the colors are not so spectacular.

At low tide, it seemed too shallow for swimming or snorkeling for quite a ways out.

This gentleman was off collecting something, maybe a type of seaweed, maybe shellfish.....

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Friday, March 12, 2021

Taketomi Island Village

Taketomi 竹富島

Taketomi is a small island a 10 minute  ferry ride from Ishigaki Island in Okinawa Prefecture. The small village on the island of about 300 inhabitants is registered as a Group of Historic Buildings a classification I refer to as Preservation District for simplicity. It is one of only two such districts in Okinawa. For other preservation districts I have covered in this blog please click here.

The defining features of the village architecture are the stone walls surrounding each property, the low, single storey homes, and the tile roofs. However, the tile roofs are a very modern addition, the first one on Taketomi not being until 1905.

Historically tile roofs were only allowed for the elite of Okinawan society. That changed in 1879 when Okinawa became part of Japan, and there are still one or two traditional thatched roofs on Taketomi.

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Monday, December 14, 2020

Masks of Taketomi Island


Taketomi Island is a small island just off Ishigaki Island in the chain of islands now called Okinawa. It is most well known for the water buffalo-drawn carts (click here) that take tourist around the small village which is a preservation district.

Being a mask-maker myself, though admittedly somewhat lapsed, I was intrigued by the masks in the local folklore museum that was housed in the villages small buddhist temple.

There are obvious similarities with the masks I found on nearby Ishigaki Island (click here)

There are also some similarities between Okinawan masks and Japanese masks, with the mask below very similar to a Hannya mask.

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Saturday, July 6, 2019

Taketomi Island Water Buffalo

At several places around the Okinawan Islands you can ride in a cart drawn by Water Buffalo, but the most well known is I think the island of Taketomi.

The water buffalo was domesticated about 5,000 years ago in India and about 4,000 years ago in southern China, which is probably where Okinawa got them from.

Taketomi Island is quite small with just a few hundred inhabitants living in the one village of Taeketomi, a Histroical Preservation District of Historic Buildings with traditional streets of sand lined with stone walls.

Almost every house has a red tile roof, but that is a modern phenomenon that started in 1905 because traditionally commoners were not allowed tile roofs, rather they were thatched.

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Monday, September 17, 2018

More Shisa of Taketomi Island

Shisa are the magical creatures found on rooves and gates all over Okinawa. Similar to Japanese komainu, though found most often on homes.

Very much "folk" artifacts, though also made by artisans, most are somewhat comical in appearance.

All these posted here are from Taketomi Island, the small island known mostly for its ox-carts.

Like komainu they are often found in male-female pairs, and in different postures.

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Shisa of Taketomi


Taketomi Island is a small island of only 5 square kilometers with about 300 inhabitants in the Yaeyama Islands, now part of Okinawa Prefecture.


It's known mostly as a tourist destination for its traditional Ryukyuan village with stone walls, tile roofs, and water buffalo carts.


The shisa on Taketomi were funkier and more whimsical than those on the main island of Okinawa, reflecting a folksier culture.