Rediscovering Koza’s post-war history through billboards

Rediscovering Koza's post-war history through billboards

On December 6, at Koza Gate Street in Okinawa City, participants of a pre-launch tour for the Machimaai sightseeing event in Okinawa walked around Koza.


December 12, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

From December 14 the Okinawa Machimaai Council Committee will kick off sightseeing tour programs that allow tourists to experience new attractions throughout the prefecture. On December 6, at Koza Gate Street, the Koza Information Center of the Okinawa City Tourism Association held a pre-launch tour of programs for tour guides. The guides went around the city and through billboards came to understand Koza’s turbulent history.

Sadao Oshiro, the president of Sign Okinawa, a billboard company based in Okinawa City, led the tour through streets that prospered near military bases during the post-war period. He pointed out the oldest neon sign, which dates back to the 1960s.

Oshiro said, “Neon signs appeared in Koza in the late 1950s, earlier than in other regions of Okinawa. They reflect the richness of the area’s postwar history.” About 20 guides took part in the tour, walking through the city looking at the English billboards and signs and preparing for when they actually guide tours themselves.
Machimaai provides almost 100 sightseeing and experience-based tour options. It works with Champuru Expo of central and northern Okinawa and the Nambu Zembu Expo of towns and villages in the southern part of Okinawa. It will run until the end of February. Participants can tour towns, ruins and nature spots all around the prefecture, enjoying Okinawan culture, traditional arts and cuisine.

For further details, call the Okinawa Machimaai Council Committee on 098 (987) 960.

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

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