|When you walk in the Taketomi Island communities, you can see the small hills with big trees and rocks whose names are Akayamaoka, Yonayama, and Shirayama, which were constructed by the Kings in the Middle Ages. Those hills create the landmark to the scenery of a simple form of communities, and make Taketomi Island's uniqueness.
In addition, the paths of the communities wind so sensitively that it creates a beautiful, the Middle-Ages-like unique scenery.
There are certain reasons why we feel the community of Taketomi Island amazingly beautiful. Here are the reasons below.
1. Island 's Concentric Circle Spatial Structure
Whole Island is well preserved by the barrier reef in the offshore, inside of which is a shallow reef, white sand beach and green thick wind-breaking trees frame the island, inner land forms as farmlands, and secured by one more wind-breaking trees, the living space of islanders is in its center. The location and the scale of the island in Ishinishi Reef and the wisdom of ancestors for its spatial construction have made it possible to form their ecological lives and rich community scenery under the subtropical weather that is sometimes very aggressive.
2. Izen Style of Paths and the Middle Ages Community Structure
Communities in Taketomi Island remain very much from Middle Ages; separating premises with no paths among them.
In 1771, Meiwa Great Tsunami (a tidal wave) had destroyed most of the communities of the neighboring islands in Yaeyama. While Ryukyu Dynasty reconstructed the destroyed communities to a checker pattern separation of the houses, Taketomi Island had miraculously survived through the tsunami and have remained its characteristic community structure.
3. Interior Structure of Premises
Premises in ordinary Ryukyu communities are usually surrounded by stonewalls in four directions, and the southern side opens for main entrance gate, through a "hinpun" (a coral wall to protect the house from a bad wind which is usually built between the gate and a premise based on a fusui methods.) stands fuhya ( a main building) in about the center of the premises. In Taketomi Island, on the other hand, stands tohra (an annex for a kitchen use) in the west side of a main building which is built in right-angled to each other. In Okinawa area, the red-tile-roof style had started only after 1887, and it continued being built for a while till after the World War II. A solid red-tile-roof house doesn't usually have a house separation system like straw- thatched-roof ones so that it is rare that all the premises of Taketomi Island had been built in such way. That is why you can see the original, sensitive, and rhythmical continuation of red-tile-roofs as a scenery of the communities.
4. The roof Structure of Fuhya (Main Building)
The plan of fuhya in Taketomi Island forms, with no exception, an oblong shape; the east-west length is a half mat longer than the south-north one. The next houseÅfs roof stands at the same height with a half-mat space. By following this pattern, it creates a visual effect to make either big or small plan of house have no difference to each other.