Photographer’s Note: “These womb shaped tombs originated in China, however they have been in vogue here for centuries. Nearly every hillside in the island has many of these. The people save all their lives and go without to buy one of these. During hurricanes they will perish rather than seek shelter in the safe interior of one of these due to the sacred atmosphere. It is interesting that they arrange the corpse in the fetal position before returning him to the womb.”
After landing in Okinawa, it was fascinating to see how many of these tombs were scattered throughout the island. From busy urban cities to the rural grasslands, it was quite easy to spot these recognizable tombs everywhere. I remember wanting to hop out of the car to get a closer look, but it probably wasn’t safe to do so on the highway. The growing moss along its smooth stonewalls shows that these turtleback tombs have endured through history, standing the test of time.
(Labelled by Jasmine Chang, Porter ’18)
Charles Eugene Gail, “Sacrifice,” The Gail Project, accessed July 12, 2020, https://gailproject.ucsc.edu/items/show/21.