Friday, June 7, 2013

Ryukyu Mura Part 1

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We took my parents to visit a replica of an old Okinawan village.  The mock village is called Ryukyu Mura.  You can view several old homes that they have restored and relocated to this area.  It lets you see what homes were like 100 years ago, how they cooked, how the rooms were divided up.  It is really cool.  There are several places to see and participate in Okinawa crafts - there is pottery, sugar extraction from sugar cane, and many more.

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In the first picture Jayce, my Dad, and Jason are sitting on the edge of one of the historical homes.  They were very open and simple (I wonder if it was easier to keep clean?).  

The middle picture is of a Tatami Mat.  I was surprised at how thick they are.  These mats were made of a rice straw core and covered with a soft rush straw (wikipedia).  These mats are still used today and are very expensive to replace.  You never walk on a Tatami Mat with your shoes on.

The last picture is of a Banana Spider, pictures never do the beast justice.  These things are the size of an adult male hand.  They are fast and will bite, but not poisonous.

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The top left is another picture of an historical home (and proof I was there).  

The top right picture is of the famous Habu snakes.  They fascinate my boys and creep me out.  They are a deadly pit viper that is native to the island.

The bottom left picture is of Koi fish (Carp).  It was crazy, all you had to do was walk near the edge and they thought you were going to feed them.  They would go into a frenzy, literally swimming (climbing) over each other.  We did feed them a few times, just so we could get pictures and video.

The bottom right is a picture of some yummy treats to purchase.  It is pig face skin in case you could not tell.  We thought the packaging made it even more appealing.

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The top left picture is of a water buffalo.  They use them to crush the sugar cane.  I think that is the purpose of the wheel behind Jayce in the upper right photo.

Almost every where you go the Japanese provide photo ops like the ones in the bottom two photos.  This one depicts the Kijimuna, tree spirits.  There are several folktales about these mischievous spirits, here is a site that has several of them.  Jayce really likes them because of the red hair.

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