【Estinater’s Story vol.1】Stone and Concrete

Stone and Concrete

Traveler: “Kina”

Hometown: Wahiawa, Hawai’i, USA

Places visited: Nakagusuku Castle



I was in Okinawa on business and I had spent my first few days in Naha, with occasional forays into the Chatan area. I had never been to Okinawa and although I found the people friendly and the food very good, my feeling was that Okinawa was not all that different from my home in Hawai’i.





One day, I’d finished my business in Chatan early and thought I’d do some sightseeing. Coming from Hawai’i I was not interested in beaches or touristy spots, but I was told by a local that there were ancient castle ruins nearby in a place called Nakagusuku. Now, that was something different!





It was late afternoon when I arrived and the path to the castle grounds was practically empty. The place was quiet but very much alive. Several species of colorful butterfly fluttered about and I smiled as one landed on my shirtfront. Birds sang happily and hundreds of dragonflies stitched through beams of sunlight filtering through lush green foliage. I began to feel the sensation of shifting time both in and around me subtly at first, then more dramatically as the first remnants of the castle wall came into view.  As I strolled down ancient cobblestones and felt the jagged coolness of the ancient limestone of walls, the time machine in my imagination was going full speed. I envisioned court nobles long ago striding through hallways that no longer stood, or gazing out over the walls at Nakagusuku Bay just as I was doing. Suddenly, one perspective of the site caught me completely by surprise when I came upon a view of (I found out later) the “ruins” of a 1970s era hotel whose construction was never completed – juxtaposed against the remains of the ancient castle. Here were two symbols of past eras that were strangely similar despite the centuries separating them.

In that moment, humanity and all our glory – the collective millennia of human existence suddenly shrank in my mind. Despite all we’ve built and accomplished, it seemed we hadn’t changed all that much. We come and go but the stones and concrete remain. At that moment, I felt a great connectedness with all humanity, past and present, as though we are all just visitors here, sharing a journey.









“Wow,” I said simply.




IMG_4155 copy IMG_4167 copy IMG_4180 copy