One of the reasons that I absolutely love having the OkiNinjaKitty Channel and Blog is to share some of Okinawa’s gems that many drive by day after day without giving a passing glance. Today I stumbled upon one of those little gems on our way back from the Nakagusuku Cosmos Field. The site might not look like too much to the untrained eye but we knew right away that it was worth stopping and taking a closer look.
Along side this large marker was a sign with information in Japanese and English which reads:
“Most roads within the Arakaki settlement in the old days were stone-paved. The roads were no more than 2.7 meters (8.9 feet) in width and were barely large enough for horse carts to pass by.
Since cars were not able to pass, villagers had no choice except to transport commodities to the settlement by hand or by horse, creating an enormous burden.
Concerned by the situation, Zenshun and Yoshinori Isa, father and son, lobbied the municipal assemblies and worked timelessly to stress the need for roads wide enough to accommodate automobiles. The hard work of the Isa family and the villagers of Arakaki eventually bore fruit. Route 35 (former Futenma and Yonabaru route) was constructed and their long sought dream was realized.
To commemorate the opening of the road and the great contribution made by the Isa family, a youth organization of the settlement unveiled this monument in October 1934.
Inscriptions on the monument recount the hardship the settlement experienced, the process to open the road, and the achievements the Isa family made.
The monument was formerly located about 100 meters to the east of where it is now. It was moved to the present spot due to post war construction works to widen the road. It was designated a historic site March 7 1997. “
This small but important site is one of the many around Okinawa hiding right under your nose. Be sure to check it out next time you’re driving down Route 35 in Nakagusuku.