NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

2007/1/12

サキシマスオウノキ Sakisimasuounoki Sakishimasuo-no-ki

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Sakishimasuo-no-ki is a kind of tree with buttress roots. The biggest tree of this kind in Japan can be found in Haimi, near the town of Taketomi in Okinawa Prefecture.

Trees of this type (Sterculiaceae mangrove) are native to places such as Amami, Ishigaki and the Iriomote Islands.

Because the ground is usually soft, the buttress roots grow out to support the growing tree because the roots only go 20cm deep into the ground. In former times, people used to cut the roots and use them as helms for boats.

Sakishimasuo-no-ki means 'the suo tree of the Saki Islands'; the Saki Islands is the general name for the islands south of the main island of Okinawa, and 'suo' is a tall leguminous deciduous tree.

The sakishimasuo-no-ki in Taketomi is 18m high and 2.9m round the trunk. There are 15 buttress roots of varying sizes making it a very impressive tree with a dominating presence.

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Haimi, Taketomi-cho, Yaeyama-gun, Okinawa Prefecture, 904-1433




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