We went to Kudaka Island today to visit the sacred sites of the Yuta and Noro [and Kuro Miko]. There are sacred areas closed to everyone, especially men unless you are a priest or male Yuta [very rare] and there for a ceremony. The Okinawa version of the Kuro Miko is very established here! They are the village counselors, are picked by the “spirit” and go insane for a long time. Upon recovery, they are a recognized psychologist and spiritual healer. There is no formal training or books however the women, upon recovery, for guidance go to the Sacred sites of Kudaka Island where the Female Goddess [of Wicca and oracle powers] resides.
Okinawa legends vary, but one version tells us that two gods, Amamikyu and Shinerikyu, a male and female deity respectively, first descended on Kudaka Island many years ago. Amamikyu had three children which became Okinawa’s first inhabitants. The first child was a son and became the first king. The second was a daughter and became the first priestess or Noro and the third child became the first farmer. Noros and Yuta are rooted in Okinawa folklore. The Noros were at one time a powerful organization of women in the Ryukyu Kingdom. Their influence was highly regarded for advice; Ryukyu Kings would seek them out for consultation. There is a ceremony called the Izaiho held every 12 years to appoint a new head Noro. The last one was conducted in 1978. In 1990 it was canceled due to declining population of women on Kudaka.
The trip by ferry boat from Okinawa only takes about a half hour. No cars, just park and walk on the ferry. Upon arrival you can hike the island or rent a bike. We rented bikes because we planned to visit a sacred site that is on the farthest northern tip of the Island. The ferry terminal is on the farthest southern tip of the island.
The first thing we noted was the warmth, it felt much warmer than the weather we left behind in Okinawa. The sun came out, blue skies and very quiet mostly due to no traffic. There are a few cars on the island, but we only saw two driving and a dozen or so bicycles the whole day.
The Northern beach area is where legend has the first two gods landing and populating the Island. This beach site is also known as the home of the Okinawan god of the sea and also a Japanese legend of the sun god visiting there. It is a very beautiful white sand and rough lava area. We did a short meditation, the sound of the ocean was intense as it hammered the coral walls and bubbled back out the sea caves, the wind was competing for attention.
After miles of bike travel we were hungry and found a local restaurant and ordered the lunch special of the day.This is one of the Islands that touts the longest living inhabitants on earth and very little disease. So what do they eat? Lunch consisted of three kinds of seaweed, tofu pudding, pickled greens, boiled potato, seasoned rice, and snake soup with a reasonable chunk of snake with the complete head. The snake soup was excellent and the snake is cooked long enough that you can eat the bones, there was a large piece of pork also in the soup along with a thick/dense green seaweed. The seaweed salad had diced raw fish throughout. I topped it all off with two Orion Beers on draft. All in all an excellent day and a fulfilling meal to fuel the trip back to Okinawa and then back home.
My person note about the island: I kept looking at the beautiful blue sky and felt very silent as I rode the rental bike over the gravel roads. The energy of that island is very serene, peaceful and quiet.
Willie Nelson’s rendition of Blue Skies popped into my head and played in perfect harmony with my reality riding down that country road. “Nothing but blue skies from now on!”
Back to my laptop, I am finishing up a class schedule as I start teaching Vedic Science in March 2013. Till next time Ja ma ta!