Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ryukyu Mura

The last thing I had on my list of things to do with Grammie and Grandpa while they were here was to take them to Ryukyu Mura.  Of all the times on the island, we have yet to take Grammie here so this was a new experience for both of them.  Ryukyu Mura is a village-like theme park that represents all things Okinawa.  There are shows and actual homes and all the crafts and products that are unique to this island.  It really is well done and a great overview of this island all in one place.

Posing with a shisa dog, a piece of the great tug-of-war rope is in the background.

Feeding the fish - the carp go nuts and just boil in the water trying to get the food!

The Habu Snake Center was interesting, but the signs are always the funniest part.  Look out for those "short tempered" snakes!

This one is explaining the life span of a mongoose.  I have yet to see one with a cane and glasses, but I'll keep looking!

The people of Okinawa look distinctive from mainland Japanese - rounder faces, darker skin, etc.  And they are distinctive in how long they live.  Did you know that Okinawans have the most centenarians of any culture in the world? 

This beautiful lady told us she was 91 - I can't even sit like that at 41!  I can only hope I have her smile, skin and poise when I'm 91.  I was kicking myself right, left and center that I didn't have my Nikon camera with me to catch her face in better detail.

That's a sanshin, a traditional Okinawan instrument, she's playing.
This other guy was singing and playing a sanshin in traditional festival costume.

Here's Stevie and Cannon peeking over one of the wall Okinawans build in front of their entrances to keep away bad spirits.

After Dad bought 4 Okinawan donuts, we got invited into one of the houses for tea and a try at the sanshin!

Going into the mock shrine...  Look at Emmy's pose!  Don't know where she gets it.

Emmy's favorite part was the water buffalo who turns the mill that extracts the juice from the sugar cane.  The Okinawans make this juice into a delicious "black sugar" which tastes more like treacle or molasses than brown sugar.  She kept following that poor guy around and around...

Still watching the buffalo...

And what Okinawan experience is complete without a little kitschy shopping including a display of pig face?

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