Oyama Mayagama

CONTRIBUTED BY HEATHER OLSEN

Oyama Mayagama l Okinawa Hai!

Sometimes the oldest folklore is the scariest, and what perfect time to learn a new legend than on Halloween! While this story isn’t overly scary, it is a little spooky.

The legend of the Mayagama:

“Maya” means “cat” in the Okinawan dialect. There is a legend that an evil spirit used to live in this cave (pictured above) a long, long time ago. It transformed into a cat and hid the local children. Local people beat the cat and it ran into a pot that was inside the cave. The people tied up the pot with rope so it could never escape, and they never saw it again.

In the same area, there are plaques showing the people that have lived here throughout history. The oldest picture is of the Azamabarujin people who lived about 600 to 6,000 years ago.

Oyama Mayagama l Okinawa Hai!

The picture of the village is a recreation of the same people. The food and tools were all from nature, such as, animals, dirt, stones and bones. The dwellings were 13×29 feet wide and were surrounded by stone or tree walls.

Oyama Mayagama l Okinawa Hai!

Oyama Mayagama l Okinawa Hai!The men hunted wild boar while the women and children collected fruit. They caught fish, sea turtles, dugong and shells. They ate those sea animals by either boiling, cooking or just eating them raw. They commonly wore jewelry made from shells.

Please note that this is amidst family tombs, which are very sacred (no photos) and are private property. You will not be disturbing anyone as long as you stay around the cave ruin site.

Directions: From Foster’s commissary gate, turn left to drive south on 58 towards Futenma (you will stay north of Kinser, however). There will be a stone sign for MCAS Futenma at the light. King Furniture is next to this light as well. Turn left and follow the road as it winds up the hill. As the road straightens out and you can see the gate, pull over to the side of the road. This is located directly out of gate one of MCAS Futenma. They almost share a fence line. You will see the picture of a cat next to some stairs.

GPS Coordinates: 26.277245,127.747864


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