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Okinawa, Japan 21: Shikinaen
Written & Directed by James Knott

If you do not see a video box here, then this video can be seen on YouTube.

Shikinaen (Shikina Garden) is the largest second residence of the Ryukyu royal family. Come stroll the grounds with James Knott as he explores the history and architecture of this World Heritage site.

Flag of Okinawa, JapanOKINAWA, JAPAN

Okinawa is Japan's southernmost prefecture. Over 1.25 million people are scattered across nearly 150 islands.

Okinawa has a unique culture that goes back several hundred years to when it was an independent country known as the Ryukyu Kingdom. This kingdom was known to trade frequently with China and as a result adopted much more from the Chinese than the rest of Japan.Map of Okinawa, Japan

The main island, Okinawa-honto, is surrounded by vivid, bright blue ocean and coral reefs. It is densely populated and urbanized in the south, while the the mountainous northern part of the island consists of just a few fishing villages and dense forests.

The beautiful, sub-tropical setting combined with historical roots that are more intertwined with China than Japan, have created a wonderful culture that is distinctly Okinawan.

 

TRANSCRIPT
Okinawa, Japan 21: Shikinaen

WHEN THE RYUKYU ROYAL FAMILY NEEDED A BREAK, THEY TRAVELED ABOUT A MILE SOUTH TO THEIR LARGEST VACATION HOME – SHIKINAEN. THIS PEACEFUL GARDEN SITS ATOP A HILL IN THE SHIKINA SECTION OF NAHA.

BUILT IN 1799, THIS RESIDENCE HAD ITS HEY DAY IN THE 1800S WHEN THE RYUKYU ROYAL FAMILY USED THIS SECOND HOME TO ENTERTAIN ENVOYS OF THE CHINESE EMPEROR.

SHIKINAEN IS A CIRCULAR LANDSCAPE GARDEN THAT BECAME POPULAR IN JAPAN AMONGST FEUDAL LORDS, BUT IT HAS SUBTROPICAL PLANTS AND SEVERAL CHINESE INFLUENCES THAT MAKE IT UNIQUELY RYUKYUAN.

A HEXAGONAL CHINESE-STYLED GAZEBO – CALLED ROKKAKU-DO – SITS ON AN ISLAND IN THE POND AND CAN BE REACHED BY CROSSING A SMALL BRIDGE.

SHIKINAEN IS A GREAT PLACE TO TAKE A STROLL. A PATH CIRCLES THE POND AND TAKES YOU OVER TWO CHINESE- STYLED BRIDGES. THE WATER IN THE POND IS PROVIDED BY A SPRING AND BOATING WAS ONCE A POPULAR ACTIVITY FOR VISITORS.

THE UDUN – OR PALACE – IS THE LARGEST BUILDING ON THE GROUNDS AND HAS A DISTINCTIVE, RYUKYUAN RED-TILED ROOF. THERE WERE SEPARATE SPACES FOR THE CARRIAGES AND HIRED HELP ALONG WITH A GUARD HOUSE.

LIKE MANY OF OKINAWA’S HISTORICAL TREASURES, SHIKINAEN WAS DESTROYED IN WW2’S BATTLE OF OKINAWA. HOWEVER, IT HAS BEEN COMPLETELY RESTORED AND MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE BACK IN THE DAYS OF THE RYUKYU KINGDOM.

These videos can also be found at
StrayCompass.com

Tour of Okinawa

1 Introduction
James with school kids in Naha, Okinawa

2 Heading North
Hibiscus on side of road in Northern Okinawa

3 Hedo Misaki
Hedo Misako - Okinawan Revision Monument

4 Hiking Route 58
Curvy road sign in northern Okinawa

5 Hentona to Ogimi
Giant Wood Spider - Okinawa

6 Family in Nakijin
Photo of Juna Ooshiro

7: Nakijin Village
and Castle
Nakijin Castle Ruins

8 Ie-Jima
Gusuku-Yama on the island of Ie-Jima

9 The Jungles of
Yonaha-Dake

Lizard at Yonaha-Dake

10 Ocean Expo Park
and Churaumi Aquarium
Shark at Churaumi Aquarium

11 Togyu
Okinawan Bullfighting

Togyu - Okinawan Bullfighting

12 U.S. Military and
Central Okinawa

U.S. Military Plane flies into Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan

13 Katsuren-Jo (Castle)
Katsuren-jo castle in Okinawa, Japan

14 Naha
Monorail in Naha, Okinawa, Japan

15 Kokusai-Dori
Souvenir shop on Kokusai-Dori in Okinawa, Japan

16 Musical Traditions
Traditional Dance is performed at Shuri Castle in Naha, Okinawa, Japan

17 World's Largest
Tug-of-War

Naha Tsunahiki - World's largest Tug-Of-War

18 Heiwa Dori
Pig face for sale at Makishi Public Market

19 Shisa Dogs and
Tsuboya Pottery Village

Shisa Dog

20 Shuri Castle
Shuri Castle

21 Shikinaen
Skikinaen

22 Tamaudun
Tamaudun

23 Sefa Utaki
Sefa utaki

24 Okinawa World
Gyokusendo Cave
Chrissy Knott at gyokusendo cave and Okinawa World

25 WW2 Peace
Memorial
WW2 Peace Memorial Cornerstone of Peace in Okinawa, Japan

26 Final Thoughts
James Knott hikes down Route 58

Having trouble viewing these videos? Here are come more links to the Tour of Okinawa and other Japanese Web Sites.

More Okinawan Videos...

Visiting Okinawa:
Second Generation
Heads to Okinawa

Eisa Drums
Eisa drum performance from members of the Ohio Tomonokai.

Ohio Tomonokai
Group Performance 1

featuring Sanshin (Shamisen), Taiko & Singing.

Ohio Tomonokai
Group Performance 2

featuring Sanshin (Shamisen), Taiko & Singing.

Okinawan Sanshin Performance

Okinawan Folk Dancing

Site designed by James Knott
Agile H Productions, LLC
Copyright © 2008