Tucked away on a hill overlooking the quiet agricultural town of Yaese, southern Okinawa, sits the island’s oldest, and perhaps most historically significant, shisa.
(Yes yes, ANOTHER post about shisa!! Sorry!)
Sometimes Google leads you on an accidental wild goose chase. In my search for information about the origins of shisa, I just happened to click on a black and white photo that piqued my interest. After reading a bit more about it, I decided it was worth a little day trip to check it out. With map in hand, we set out to find it.
This dear old shisa, with its friendly looking face and slightly goofy, perpetually grin, endured one of the fiercest gun fights during the Battle of Okinawa, and still has the bullet holes to prove it.
We attempted to recreate the battle scene. Not quite the right angle, but close enough, I guess!
From the same spot today, you can see lots of farms, schools and villages, as well as a beautiful blue ocean in the distance. The scorched earth has also regrown and now has a beautiful big gajumaru tree.
There isn’t much to see in Yaese town, but it is worth visiting the Tomori Stone Lion if you happen to be in the area.