I have often said that living in Okinawa is like spending every day in a museum. History is not only all around us here but there is such a huge value and respect for history that all you have to do is walk about 20 feet before you (sometimes quite literally) stumble upon it.
Although all of Okinawa’s historic sites are special some stand out above the rest. The Tomori Stone Lion is one of those sites.
Tucked away on a hill side of southern Okinawa is a shisa looking off into the distance. It is weathered and aged yet nor terribly damaged even after all of the fierce fighting which took place here during the Battle of Okinawa.
Although over the years we have seen hundreds if not thousands of shisa, historic places and battle sites there is something that makes the Tomori Stone Lion stand out above the rest; a photograph. During the battle of Okinawa someone snapped a photograph of military men stationed around this very shisa on this very hill. Looking at the picture you can see clear recognizable faces standing on the very spot of land that we were standing on.
There are really no words to describe how I feel about visiting this location. Standing where those men stood and resting my hand upon the stone that they undoubtably rested upon is almost surreal. Furthermore if this guardian could stand through such a time of battle and fear what did it see before the time when that photo was snapped?