Nago the “Home of Agu

Nago the “Home of <em>Agu</em>

On September 1, a statue of an agu pig was unveiled to local residents at a ceremony held at the Nago Civic Center to commemorate the declaration the "Home of Agu."

September 2, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

Nago City declared itself to be the “Home of Agu” on September 1. Through the years it has worked to save and promote the Okinawan native pig known as agu, which used to be threatened by extinction. A statue of an agu pig was unveiled in the ceremony held at the Civic Center to commemorate the declaration. People attending the ceremony, including meat producers and city officials, made comments such as “Agu is a symbol of Nago,” “It is our treasure,” and “We want to see it available throughout the world.”

According to Nago City, agu pigs were brought to Ryukyu from China during the 14th century, but their numbers decreased sharply after World War II. A survey carried out by Nago Museum throughout the prefecture from 1981 confirmed that only 30 of these pigs had survived. It looked after 18 of them and gave several to the Hokubu Agriculture and Forestry High School. The school worked to breed the animal back towards its original form, eventually reviving the agu variety in 1993.

At the ceremony, Mayor Susumu Inamine declared Nago to be the home of agu. He said, “Nago is where the original variety of Ryukyuan pig, the agu, has been revived.” The ceremony was held as a part of the City Animal Husbandry Festival. The organizers provided about 150 free meals to visitors, including roast pork and agu shabu-shabu.

Masatoshi Shimabukuro, the first director of the Nago Museum who worked to save and revive agu, said, “I am very happy that our efforts have been recognized. We want to strive to look after more agu and make use of them as we move forward.”
The statue of the agu represents a stocky male pig about three meters long between the tip of the nose and its backside and 1.7 meters high. It stands in front of the Civic Center facing out towards Route 58.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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