Miyara and local children clean and repaint 730 monument
August 4, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo
On July 27, Eiju Miyara from Miyara, Ishigaki and four pupils from Miyara Elementary School repainted the 730 (representing July 30) monument and cleaned the surrounding area to commemorate the anniversary of July 30, 1978, when the road rules switched from people driving on the right-hand side of the road to the left.
At that time, Miyara was working in the Traffic Division of Yaeyama Police Station and was involved in traffic reform.
Miyara designed the monument, which was built in September 1978, so it has a special meaning for him. Six or seven years ago, when Miyara saw tourists taking photographs in front of the monument he realized that it had became a sightseeing spot and thought of cleaning it up and repainting it. Since then, every year, as July 30 approaches, Miyara repaints and cleans up the monument with children from Miyara Elementary School.
Miyara said, “This year is more meaningful than ever because it marks 40 years since the reversion to Japanese sovereignty. July 30 is the day on which we should wish for safety on the roads. My dream is to have a community with no traffic accidents.“ Ten year-old Mimi Takehara, who helped to clean the monument, said, “I thought painting it would be easy but it wasn’t. I know only a little about what happened on July 30, but I am glad that I was able to help.”
(English translation by T&CT, Megumi Chibana and Mark Ealey)
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