Chapter 914: Ryukyu Village (琉球村)

The Ryukyu Village (琉球村) isn’t a real village, but it is a theme park built to demonstrate, show and teach visitors about the traditional culture of Ryukyu, Okinawan life. As many people know, before Okinawa became part of Japan it had its own culture, language and way of life.

The traditional language they speak is Uchinaaguchi. Some people consider it a dialect but there’s no way it’s a dialect of Japanese because it sounds completely different. Plus, UNESCO has it on their list of endangered languages because not a lot of people speak it anymore, and most speakers are the elderly. Also another fact is, there are 6 separate languages in the Okiawan Islands and several dialects.

The theme park is one of the top sights to visit for anybody who is in Okinawa. There are several souvenir shops, resting areas and restaurants. In one of the shops I visited had many many clay statues of Shisa, which you will see all over Okinawa, usually on the top of peoples roofs. They also have performances each day showcasing a fun Shisa, the king and queen, local dances and instruments. The traditions of the Ryukyu culture is beautiful, lively and I love some of their songs and music, 2 in particular makes me emotional, it’s called Shima Uta (島唄) and also Umi no Koe (海の声)

—Tofu

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