The person on the left is Yoshi Arakaki Sensei the President of the World Association of Uechi Ryu Shobukan and Kobudo Master on Hamahiga Island. The person on the right is a worker at Yoshi Arakaki Sensei’s Hamahiga Sea Salt factory.
My Sensei from Okikukai brought me here on a very special trip. Yoshi Arakaki Sensei gave us a exclusive tour of his sea salt factory and the bay where he pumps the water from the sea. Then he gave us a tour of his village, which is not very far from his factory. The village is small, but is rich with history and culture. The people on Hamahiga island live a simple life in a country setting and can easily travel to Okinawa by way of a bridge that links the two islands together.
I was interestingly surprised when Arakaki Sensei told me that the people of Hamahiga Island are mostly descendents of Samurai clans. Arakaki Sensei said that even his great grandfather was a Samurai. We were given exclusive entrance to a shrine which was built to preserve their family’s’ history. In that shrine Arakaki Sensei showed us pictures of his family on a wall, which included his father, grandfather, and great grandfather. At the foot of the wall below the pictures on display is a dark wooden staff. Arakaki Sensei said the staff originated from China and has been in the family since his great grandfather.