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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cape Manzamo

Cape Manzamo

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Cape Manzamo

     N 26 30.282E 127 51.014

Cape Manzamo, Onna Village

One of the most recognizable tourist destinations on Okinawa is Cape Manzamo (or Manzamō). Facing the East China Sea, its most distinguishing feature is its elephant trunk-like coral snout. Hundreds and hundreds of sightseers visit Cape Manzamo daily just to get a memorable photo of this large, natural sculpture. The name Manzamo is said to originate from words expressed by King Sho Kei in 1726 during a visit. Admiring the view he notes it “was worth letting 10,000 people sit and enjoy the area”.(1) The kanji designation for Manzamo (万座毛) summarizes the king's expression. The first character 万(man) means 10,000, while the second character 座 (za) gives reference to a seat or to sit as in "za suru".

The Third Kanji. There is, however, an interesting peculiarity to Manzamo's third kanji character, 毛. Together with the first two characters it is pronounced as mou (mō). But alone, the kanji means hair and when said by itself, it is pronounced as "ke". So how does hair fit in the equation of the definition? According to the Uchina Joho website it explains that is an Okinawan word that means an open field and was once denoted with the kanji, 毛.(2) This would seem to coincide with King Sho Kei's earlier expression. It would imply then that at some point the definition changed to mean hair, but the character, 毛, remained as a legacy to its former meaning. The word is also found in the Okinawan-English Wordbook (2006). In the book it describes as a field that is not cultivated or a wilderness.(3)

Sunset Viewing. Manzamo is beautiful during the day but it is also a great place to view the sunset. Please visit Map It! Okinawa's article, Sunset! Manzamo, for more information.

Amenities/Parking. At the parking location you will find many gift shops. Parking is also free.

Other Places of Interest Nearby. The Cave of Dances – Uduigama, Onna Gusuku.

1) Onna Village Historical Publicaion, dtd March 2000, Pg 14
2) Uchina Joho Website (Manzamo)
3) Okinawan-English Wordbook, University Hawai'i Press 2006, Pg 119

Directions. To get to Cape Manzamo, you have to take Highway 58 into Onna-son (Onna Village). You will have to take the 58 By-pass (skirts the shore). Signs will be posted directing you 'Cape Manzamo' along the 58.

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