400 year-old Sagaribana blooms in Okinawa

400 year-old Sagaribana blooms in Okinawa

The first Sagaribana to come into bloom on Tokashiki Island. In the garden of Tsutomu Komine on May 13.


May 17, 2015 Hideaki Yoneda, correspondent of Ryukyu Shimpo 

A Sagaribana tree, also known as Sawafuji (Barringtonia racemosa,) could be seen blossoming in Tokashiki Village on May 8. The tree has been growing there for a long time, alongside the Tokashiki River on the west side of the village, in the garden of 61-year-old resident Tsutomu Komine. The tree is said to be more than 400 years old.

It is the biggest of all the Sagaribana on the island and also has the most flowers. With roots spreading about 180 centimeters, its trunk is 65 centimeters in diameter and it’s about five meters high.

There used to be a cluster of big Sagaribana trees around the Tokashiki River near the current entrance to the forest road. Only about four trees are left today due to construction work around the river.

Komine is the seventh generation of his family to watch the tree come into bloom. As the tree is said to be 400 years old, the Sagaribana is considered to be part of the Komine family’s history.

The tree will be in full bloom around July and people can enjoy the sight of its petals floating from the river into the harbor.

(English translation by T&CT and Sayaka Sakuma)

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