Town Symbols

Town Flower

Shell Ginger(Samin)

  1. The flower of the shell ginger plant is called Samin-bana in the local parlance (Getto in Japanese), and grows wild throughout the hills and fields of the town's islands.
  2. An evergreen herb which grows in clusters, it bears beautiful flowers with yellow labella which make it a favorite ornamental plant among locals.
  3. Its aromatic leaves have been traditionally used to wrap Samin-mochi, a sweet made of pounded rice, and its fibrous stalk is still used extensively today to make folk crafts.

Town Tree

Japanese Yew(Kyagi)

  1. The tree, which grows throughout the town, is used for its high-quality lumber to construct house, make furniture, and craft various other tools and utensils.
  2. A tall, hardy evergreen, it can tolerate a remarkably wide range of soil conditions, and is thus relatively easy to cultivate.
  3. Due to its resistance to salt and wind damage, it is ideal in its employ as a decorative plant, lining streets throughout the town, as well as being common in parks and gardens.

Town Bird

Ruddy Kingfisher(Gokkaro)

  1. With a majestic russet bill and feathers, the bird is notably fertile, so the population thrives throughout every island of the town.
  2. For ages, the bird's clarion call has signaled the arrival of agricultural seasons among farmers and is evocative of awakening for the townsfolk when it come at daybreak in early summer.

Town butterfly

Great Orange Tip(Tsumabenicho)

  1. Though this butterfly's environmental range extends as far north as Kagoshima (Okinawa's neighboring prefecture to the north), its population is at its largest in Taketomi and the butterflies themselves grow lager here than any other of the same species from other regions.
  2. The shocking juxtaposition of orange and white on its upper and lower wings (respectively)makes the butterfly easy to spot as it files above the lush green hills of the islands; its flight is symbolic of hope for the future.

Town Fish

Bluefin Jack(Gara)

  1. The fish's scintillating scales and flitting movement through the tides have come to symbolize progress into the future for the town.

Town Shell

Spider Conch(Suijigai)

  1. Spider conch shells have long been used in Okinawa as talismans, hung under the eaves of houses, or used to hang household objects and clothes, such as coolie hats or traditional straw raincoats.
  2. A dense, robust shell, it stands out among the sandy seafloor adjacent to the reefs where it is most often found.
  3. Its six long spikes bear a striking resembalance to the Chinese character: 水. The spikes' jutting out in six different directions is symbolic of the town's growth.