Illuminated character of the Dragon set up by members of the 20th graduating class of Henza Junior High School shines brightly on the island

Illuminated character of the Dragon set up by members of the 20th graduating class of Henza Junior High School shines brightly on the island

On January 4 in front of the Henza Community Hall in Yonagusuku in Uruma, the volunteers of the 20th graduating class of Henza Junior High School made an illuminated letter in the shape of character for dragon to commemorate their turning 60 this year.


January 7, 2011 Tsubaki Mekaru of the Ryukyu Shimpo

At two separate locations in Henza Island, to commemorate the zodiac sign of the old Chinese calendar, and the year in which they turn 60 years of age, about 20 volunteers of the 20th graduating class of Henza Junior High School of Yonagusuku in Uruma created an illuminated letter in the shape of the Chinese character for dragon, this year’s sign of the zodiac. The lights symbolize the desire to revitalize Henza Island through the activities of people born in the Year of the Dragon.

The idea of making an illuminated character was started by members born in the Year of the Hare, who turned 60 years of age in 2011. Last year it was set up at only one location, by the road to the highland disaster prevention area, but this year’s group further developed the idea to two locations.

Yoshihiro Matsuda painted the picture of a dynamic looking dragon for the illuminated character, which is about 3.5 meters (11 feet 5 inches) high and about 7.2 meters (23 feet 7 inches) wide in front of the community hall. He has had a talent for drawing since he was in elementary school, and said, “I hope that people who see this enjoy it.” It took about two weeks to do and Matsuda took time off his job to complete the picture. One of the group who lives in Nishihara brought the wire for the illumination, and the former classmates all worked together to finish it. Masanobu Agena, a member of the volunteer group, said, “I hope that the lights help to make everyone on the island happy.”

The illuminated letter will be in place until the joint-celebration for people born in the Year of the Dragon, which is scheduled to be held on February 1 in the Community Hall. Tamami Yamashiro and Kiyomi Shimojo said, “Some of our old classmates cannot be contacted because they have moved. Classmates who grew up on the island are like brothers and sisters, so we hope that everyone can make it to the celebration.” For further information regarding the celebration contact the Henza Community Hall. Telephone:098 (977) 8127.

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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