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Traditional Okinawa Village and Omoro Arboretum

Livistona chinensis

Livistona chinensis

General description

Omoro name Koha, Koba
Japanese name Birou
Family name Arecaceae
Okinawan name Kuba

Location within the park

Characteristics

Livistona chinensis is found from the southern part of Kyushu to southern China and Taiwan via the Ryukyu Islands. It is a tall tree of 50 feet with a single trunk that stands upright, leaves with a narrow palmately cleft, and lobes that further split in two and hang down. Its spadix is long with yellow flowers that bloom closely to each other between April and May and have a unique scent. Its fruit is oval and ripens between September and November at which time it becomes dark blue. Its seeds are white and round. It is a variant type of the elementary species Livistona chinensis. Since it was believed to be a sacred tree from where god would climb down to earth, it is often seen at sacred sites in Okinawa which are named such as “Kuba Utaki” and “Kubohnu Utaki”.

Utilization

【tree】 : park trees, street decorating trees, windbreak forest, tide-water control forest
【wood】 : pillar, picture frame, cane
【leaf】 : well bucket, round fan, woven hat
【sprout, young leaf】 : for food

About the sacred tree

It is a sacred tree grown at sacred sites in Okinawa, and is called “Kuba Utaki” or “Kupohnu Utaki”. Also, it is utilized among the young in Okinawa. In the old times, the leaf of Livistona chinensis was used to make well buckets for drawing water, and presently, it is used to make round fans and woven hats for fishermen to wear.
This tree of Livistona chinensis is referred to as the tree of “Ajimasa” in the Records of Ancient Matters, and is also said to have been valued by the Yamato Dynasty. It is also said that the trees of Awa Province and Awaji-shima Island became a tribute.

Best Time To See Calendar

Omorosaushi (1228 of Volume 17) Koba

Meaning of the song
When Shirohae wind blows in Hyakuna (former Tamagusuku Village)
Let’s welcome the young priestesses from our hearts
When Shirohae wind blows in our village
Let’s welcome the young priestesses from our hearts
As people row the boats
It looks beautiful just like blooming flowers of Livistona chinensis
As people pull their oars
Its looks beautiful just like a wave of flowers

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