Wednesday, December 26, 2012
The Stone Lion of Kishaba
Almost everyone who comes through Okinawa is familiar with the shisaa. They come in many shapes, sizes and can be found in either pairs or by themselves. It is common for some nowadays to think of shisaa as good luck charms but this is not exactly the reason that they are around. Overall the shisaa is a protector. There are a lot of stories which I will save for another day but at a time they were most commonly seen on the roof of a house, not necessarily in pairs. This particular shisaa was placed in a location (different from where it sits today) facing a stone which was said to spit fire and therefore to prevent natural disasters in the area the shisaa was placed facing it. There is no date on the shisaa and like many other things throughout Okinawa it can not be exactly determined when it might have been constructed but it does seem as though it is in the same fashion of the shisaa which are located in the kyuuna area. I have not yet talked about those shisaa in a video but I will be sure to cover them in the future.
The current location of this shisaa is in a small park which is located in the Kitanakagusuku area. The park is beautiful and holds a few different historical areas although at this time I am not entirely sure of what each one is. After walking up a large set of stairs into a large coral stone area you can feel as though you are in the middle of the jungle.
The park has a number of tombs and monuments although we did not venture to one of them because it was too overgrown. Signs mark the direction of each area as well. On a beautiful day this is a great place to get away for a brief moment and enjoy the sun but it is also a great place to see some history as well.
Below all of the tombs, water way and everything else in the overgrown area you can see that there is a large grassy area as well as a sandy area which is more likely than not used for gate ball. Benches also are set throughout the park for people who are wondering through to sit and enjoy the area. Although this is a great place to see this is not a park which is dedicated to kids, at least not kids who enjoy jungle gym equipment.
There are a few things to remember when visiting this park. First and foremost the roads leading to this park are small and you should use extreme caution to ensure that you are able to safely get where you need to go. I do not recommend bringing large SUV type vehicles to this location as you may encounter trouble. Also as with many other places of this type please have a great deal of respect for the area and the residents who are in the immediate area. I understand that when one uses the word "park" it can mean something different to some then it means for others. This is the type of park where you walk through rather than the type of park where you play ball. If you have the chance to check it out and if you want to see some history you will love this location.