Nakamurake Residence

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Traditional Okinawan style residence

Nakamurake (中村家) is a typical Okinawan-style home from the 18th century and served as the Nakamura family’s dwelling.
The Japanese government has classified Nakamurake as an essential cultural asset, and it is available to the public.

Nakamurake has several traditional Okinawan farmers’ dwelling traits, such as a red-tiled roof with sculptures of shisa. Lion-like animals that ward off evil spirits are prevalent in Okinawa. And a stone wall and towering trees for protection from the regular typhoons.

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History of The Nakamura Family

The Nakamura family’s history begins in the early 15th century. Gauji, a family’s ancestor, relocated to Nakagusuku from Zakimi in Yomitan. Lord Gosamaru of Zakimi had received an order. From the King in Shuri to shift his castle to Nakagusuku, the reason for the relocation. Gauji was Gosamaru’s tutor until his death at Lord Amawari of Katsuren Castle, located across the Nakagusuku harbor.

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Gauji and his family were likewise affected by their lord’s difficulties, with the Nakagusuku Castle in ruins. It wasn’t until 1720 that the Nakamura family’s fortunes were restored. When a family member was appointed as a Jitoshoku (village headman) by the royal administration in Shuri. The earliest foundations of the Nakamura home were laid about this period.

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source: Nakamura Family Residence by Erin Grace, CC BY-SA 3.0

Seesaa sculptures

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On the roofs of Okinawan houses, have sculptures known as seesaa. Seesaa sculptures are very popular throughout Okinawa. Initially, sculptures were fashioned by roofers from leftover tiles and plaster. They were claimed to be used as a “talisman” or “good luck charm”. The notion is that the two of them keep misfortune away from the house. And preserve good fortune from leaving.

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