With some of my recent coverage of various things on Yaedake I received a question from a viewer who. He was here in Okinawa many years ago serving with the United States Armed Forces and noticed something strange about me post. He asked:
Why is it that you call it Yaedake? When I was there it was called Yaetake. Could you find out why this might be.
Loving the challenges that I receive from my viewers I quickly started doing some research on why at some time the “t” may have been replaced with what we now see everywhere which is the “d”.
My research took me to various websites focusing on different topics but it was not long before a pattern started to emerge. Regardless whether I searched in English or in Japanese when I looked for something with the “t” in Yaetake all of the search results were United States Military Related, particularly focusing on the Battle of Okinawa. Almost every site that I found was in English and focused on the war time activity which took place on or around Yaetake.
When I looked for information with the “d” in Yaedake I found everything else. Websites in both English and Japanese provided information regarding not only the history of the mountain but also what is there nowadays.
This made me curious. In the interest of ensuring that I was not mistaken in my pattern I continued to look up more information through various different sources but it still led me to the same conclusion.
Overall my best guess is that Yaetake with a “t” is something that was for whatever reason used by the American forces during the Battle of Okinawa and stuck for an unknown period of time. This type of thing happens in Okinawa (and I imagine other parts of Japan as well) due to the English speaking Americans not having a clear understanding of the pronunciation of the words used here in Okinawa. A present day example of this is a group of people out there who pronounce MCAS Futenma (foo-ten-ma) as (foo-team-ma). This would explain why on a number of the military related material you will find Yaetake rather than Yaedake. I anticipate that this changed, however, when the government of Okinawa started putting up road signs and such which featured the mountains accurate name.
Of course with anything like this it can be hard to pinpoint exactly why it was that something happened or was changed. I do as much research as I can and put forth my best educated guess but do not mistake there is a bit of margin for error here. Either way I hope that I have at very least given a bit of perspective on this interesting topic.
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