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Thursday, October 27, 2011

"An Intriguing Utaki in Maehara"

An Utaki/Monument in Maehara of Uruma City

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An Intriguing Utaki in Maehara

     N 26 20.507E 127 50.793

An Intriguing Utaki in Maehara

Curiosity often leads you to find the most intriguing things in life, particularly in Okinawa. If you like exploring, you probably realized that you developed a sixth sense of finding things here on this island. This happen to be one of those times. Despite being 3 feet from the road side, this monument/utaki is very well hidden. What gave it away was the stairway leading to somewhere and next to it, a white post with some Japanese written on it. Stairways are built for a reason and no one stakes a post in the ground for nothing.

This is no Seifa Utaki but it may give a glimpse of the past and what the Okinawans were going through at one time. The Kanji on the back of the inscription reads "Established in 1964, September 9th", and on the front "Renovation Monument". The word 'renovation' was the Japanese interpretation of the Kanji. But it could also mean 'restoration'. This is just my guess, but if you replace the word with 'Restoration' and juxtapose it with the date 1964 then this monument could possibly have something to do with Okinawa's Reversion back to Japan. Now the Official Reversion happened in 1972, but this did not happen over night. It was a decade long process. The Okinawan Reversion Council was formed in 1960 (see source). It is not unusual to see Okinawans or Japanese erect symbols of peace as, a means of moving forward. The statue of Shinran Shonin in Yomitan Village is an testament of that. I could be totally off the mark on this but with little information around this intriguing Utaki, it leaves one to wonder, why such an elaborate place of prayer? Somebody knows the answer. For now, it's another one for the Okinawa X-Files.

Note: The Maehara District referenced above resides in Uruma City. Though this Utaki is right off the road, it is easy to pass by. If you click on the balloon icon above, it will show you what to look for.

Other places of interest nearby: The Mysterious Esu Shirube Stone

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