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Oroku

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  • Japanese/Okinawan: 小禄 (Oroku / Uruku)

Oroku is a neighborhood of Naha (the capital of Okinawa prefecture), but was previously a village/district (magiri) unto itself. It covers a large area in what is today western Naha, from the seashore and Naha Airport and the neighborhoods of Ômine and Kaganji in the west, to Gushi, Uebaru, and Kinjô to the east, where Oroku is separated from the rest of Naha by the Tsubogawa (Tsubo River).

The name appears in some earlier records, with one 1438 document mentioning a person by the name of Uruku Ucchi (烏魯古結制); the Omoro sôshi also mentions the placename Oroku-yokotake, though it's unclear to where, precisely, this refers.

Oroku was formally established as a magiri in 1673, being formed out of the combination of parts of Tomigusuku magiri and Mawashi magiri.

One famous local product produced in Oroku was Uruku kunji, an indigo-dyed kasuri textile. Kasuri (ikat) was first introduced by Gima Shinjô in 1611, and spread from there. Oroku is also said to have been the first place in Ryûkyû to grow cabbage, carrots, and certain other crops, and was a major center of pig farming as well.

Following World War II, military bases came to occupy some 70% of Oroku's land area. Today, too, much of the area is taken up by Naha Airport, and by Japanese Self-Defense Forces bases.

References

  • "Oroku ma~i" 小禄ま~い. Pamphlet. Naha City Board of Education Cultural Properties Division 那覇市教育委員会文化財課, 1989.
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