NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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竹富島の集落 Taketomijimano-shuuraku The Village of Taketomi Island

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There is a village on Taketomijima (Taketomi Island) that preserves much of the traditional architecture, customs and cultures of this area of Okinawa. The village is famous for its traditional houses, which were built to withstand the frequent typhoons that buffet the island.

'Shisa' (a Ryukyu decoration that looks like a dog-lion) can be seen on rooftops or walls of houses as wards against evil. The shisa of Taketomijima are unique in shape and color, all having a different, individual expression, conceived and merged from the individual customs and cultures of each area.

In 1987, the village was nominated as an Important Traditional National Preservation Area. The view from the Nagomino-Tou tower in Akayama Park, in the middle of the town, is especially worth seeing.

Also preserved at Taketomijima is an event known as the Tanedori-matsuri (festival), which has been designated as an important intangible cultural heritage.

Even today, the village embodies tradition with its stunning contrast of white sandy roads and red-brick houses surrounded by coral-studded walls and flowering hibiscus.
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