|A monument in tribute to Hibari Misora at Gajyanbira Park. Naha Port in the back.|
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|A Tribute to Hibari Misora at Gajyanbira Park, Naha|
|N 26 12.280||E 127 39.972|
A Tribute to Hibari Misora - Gajyanbira Park, Naha City
The aftermath of World War II left many in agony from all sides and left many to question the future of world peace. Okinawa had suffered the many horrors of war first hand on its own soil. And at a uncertain time in an uncertain future, uplift was desperately needed. One voice would emerge to bring sunlight to the darkest corner of the earth, She is perhaps Japan's most famous singer and she is given tribute here at Gajyanbira Park in Naha City. She is Hibari Misora.
Born in 1937, she began her singing career at the age of 9 in 1946 just after the war. It was through her captivating voice that gave inspiration and hope to the many Japanese and Okinawans during their most darkest days. She had sang over 1500 songs in her career. But there was one song she sang that gave tribute to the people of Okinawa in their struggle to find solace and inner peace in the aftermath of the 'Great Okinawan War'. The song is titled "Hanakaze no Minato" and is loosely translated as "The Port of Flowers in the Wind". As token of their appreciation Okinawans dedicated this monument in her name and placed portions of the lyrics of this song on a large stone, and if you stand at the right place you will hear this song being played. Just look for a set of yellow footsteps, just a short distance from this stone and let the electronic 'magic' do the rest. The location too couldn't be more fitting. It sits above on a ridge overlooking Naha Port. On a clear day with great blue skies the scenery is exquisite.
Sadly, Hibari Misora's life and a career was short lived. She had died at the young age of 52 in 1989. Though gone, she is not forgotten and rests in the hearts of many Japanese and Okinawans to this day. To learn more about her life and career please visit the Official Website both in Japanese and in English at Misorahibari.com. To hear portions of the song, "Hanakaze no Minato", please visit this YouTube Site*.
Other places of interest nearby: Sumiyoshi Shrine of Naha City, Pineapple House in Naha City, Manko Waterbird & Wetland Center, Fukushuen Chinese Garden.
*Reader's note: It is not certain if the voice of this particular YouTube clip belongs to Hibari Misora.