Rules for Respecting the Island

The climate on Taketomi Island is subtropical monsoon, and there is a rainy season from December till March, and another rainy season from the beginning of May till the middle of June. The typhoon season begins at the end of July and lasts until September, which explains the high precipitation and the average temperature of 24 degrees, throughout the year. Especially in summer, it is hot and humid everyday. This warm, humid climate grows rich marine products and tropical fruits.

The geological feature is an upheaval coral reef, on which there is only a small amount of soil and leaf mold, and one part has a rich layer called Paleozoic stratification. The coral reef surrounds the island, and the shallow beach water and shore reef and tide create a pool that spread out to form the flame of the island. While on one hand, such geological features are well drained, it also makes it difficult to secure enough water for the productivity of crops, and to secure drinking and living water.
Reef---An Ocean Farm---
Wild Papayas Island Bananas

In such a natural environment, people have invented a system to utilize the land in a concentric circle in order to maintain their lives on the island. Though seawater easily mixes with water in wells, it is possible to get relatively good water in places surrounded by wind-breaking trees, that protect it from wind and tides. There also is an area of windbreak trees (preservation trees) surrounding the whole island, near the seashores. They are there to preserve productive areas like farmlands (producing grains, vegetables, beans, sugar canes, and so on) and thatch plant fields where a large part has turned into a jungle, with the exception of some small farms and pastures. Exotic plants called leucaena, that the US Army brought and planted inside lanes of windbreak trees for firewood, are overrunning the area and turning it into a jungle.

The shallow water reef surrounding the island is an area where people catch various creatures such as octopus, seaweed, and small fish for daily food, and also for special occasions like festivals. Some of these spots even have names. In "Suru-Sukui," the traditional kyongi performance, one spot is introduced as a good fishing spot called "Bata of Kondoi" where people can scoop even a spratelloides (suru).

Aiyaru Path
Preservation trees of Kaiji Beach
Tortoise Shell
Graves facing the sea
In the past, people used to choose places near the sea for graves, so that the bodies faced the sea.
However, these days, graves are built near the community. In addition, all the beaches have names that originate from various purposes, which means what they do in each place directly reflects their name. For instance, one beach is called "Kitocchi" where people gather sand paths, and another is called "Ninushah" where people bleach their clothes. The paths leading to these beaches also have names. In this case, they were named after the beaches, for example "Kaiji Michi" means "path to Kaiji Beach."
Taketomi Yugafu-kan all right reserved.
Unapproved reproduction of pictures, such as a text, a photograph, etc. indicated in this site, is forbidden