Monday, October 29, 2012

Nago Pineapple Park, Okinawa

The park is located just outside Nago City, Motobu Peninsula, about 75 km from Naha. There are pineapple fields and a tropical garden, as well as a souvenir shop with various pineapple products, such as pineapple wine, juice, cakes, chocolate, pie, also fresh and dried pineapple. There is a presentation of the history of pineapple in Okinawa - seeds were brought to Ishigaki by a ship from Holland. It is a place to learn how to cut the pineapple, why pineapple is good for health, and anything one can think of related to this fruit. There is also a Shell Gallery, with beautiful exhibits.

Shells remind me of a Japanese film - "Coquille"/Kaigara, 1999. The title was inspired by a poem written by Jean Cocteau. "Mon oreille est un coquillage/Qui aime le bruit de la mer." - My ear is a sea shell that loves the sound of the sea. It has a good translation into Japanese:

As you may know, these are shisa dogs. Half dog, half lion, it is a traditional decoration in the Ryukyu culture. They appear on the rooftops or at the gates. The left one has the mouth closed, and the right one has the mouth open. The open mouth wards off the evil spirits, and the closed mouth keeps in the good spirits. The same meaning goes for the komainu placed at the entrance of the Shinto shrines throughout Japan.

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