Prior to felling a large 120-year-old tree, Oura Ward residents hold a memorial ceremony

Prior to felling a large 120-year-old tree, Oura Ward residents hold a memorial ceremony

On January 4 in Oura Ward, Nago City, ward residents participate in a memorial ceremony for the “Gajimaru of Oura Asagi Garden".

January 12, 2020 Ryukyu Shimpo

On January 4, prior to felling the “Gajimaru of Oura Asagi Garden”, which is a gajumaru tree (Ficus microcarpa) that has aged more than 120 years, a memorial service was held at Asagi Garden (in the public square in front of the public hall) in Oura Ward, Nago City to express gratitude to the tree.

Ward residents and former ward residents gathered to offer incense burning, reminisce about the gajumaru tree, and express gratitude to it.

This gajumaru tree has suffered from “minami negusare byo” (brown root rot disease) for the past several years, and due to risk of collapse, Oura Ward has made the decision to fell the tree.

The felling was scheduled for mid-January. In 2006 the gajumaru tree was designated as a city-designated cultural property (natural monument).

The public square where the gajumaru tree is located has become the grounds for community events, including eisa and village dances.

At the memorial ceremony, items such as photographs of the tree before its illness and pictures drawn by children were displayed.

Attendees yearned for a time when the tree’s leaves were bright green and grew thickly. At the memorial ceremony, head of Oura Ward Tatsuyuki Miyazato said, “Ward residents held discussions [due to the illness], and it has come to felling this beloved tree; we want to express our affection and offer the burning of incense”.

Kunizo Higa, 89, took the podium and said, “It is tragic that we must part ways”.

Kairu Shimabukuro, 14, an 8th year student at Ryokufu Gakuen, expressed his gratitude with the words, “Although I feel sad, there is also a sense of ‘you must be tired after more than 100 years'”.

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

Go To Japanese


Previous Article:
Next Article:

[Similar Articles]