Saturday, November 6, 2010

UNESCO Castle Maintenance - Check This Lady Out! (Photo)

There are five UNESCO World Heritage Castles on the island of Okinawa, Japan and a month never goes by without me visiting one or two of them. Most of the time I like to get there early for the good lighting conditions and to avoid having tourists show up in my pictures. This day was different. A lady was on the top of the castle stairway. She was doing maintenance on the castle walls. And, best of all, she had a bright blue sky in the background. CLICK, CLICK, CLICK...


Not wanting to bother her with asking for permission, I sorta tiptoed up a few stairs at a time. I watched to make sure she was concentrating on her work, her face wouldn't be visible and she wouldn't know I was sneaking closer and closer. Each time I stopped, CLICK, CLICK, CLICK just as if I was trying to get a great shot of some exotic wildlife. That's how you do it, you sneak, aim, focus and click!

The tool the lady is using for her maintenance is a hand sickle called a kama. It is also a weapon used in the Okinawan Martial Arts. She is removing the vegetation sprouting between the stones of the castle walls. All the UNESCO Castles on Okinawa are constructed of stone but, they don't use mortar. The shape of the stones, their weight and gravity hold the walls in place.



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