Sustainability and Tradition in Anindo Village, Okinawa, Japan


A recent collaborative effort by Japanese and American archaeologists and environmental scientists identified and examined the historic (ca. 1897-late 1950s) Anindo Village. Located within the stream valleys and mountainous uplands of the Kanna Watershed in central Okinawa, Japan, Anindo Village was a short-lived reclaimed land settlement dependent on both agricultural and forestry-based economic practices. This paper examines the distribution of archaeological sites and the natural and cultural landscapes related to this historic settlement. Ethnographic research with descendant communities enhanced our interpretation of cultural practices in Kindai Period (AD 1879-1945) settlements. Our investigations provide a context to a wide variety of sites, including household and farmstead remains, agricultural farming fields and complexes, habitation terraces, a cemetery and tombs, and World War II evacuation tunnel shelters. Charcoal kilns, used by the villagers for supplemental income, were also identified throughout many of the surrounding stream valleys. Ethnobotanical analysis in the environs of Anindo Village indicates intensive arboriculture, as well as the cultivation of non-arboreal plants. In addition, traditional cultural practices demonstrated at the Anindo Village sites reflect an ethos of sustainability in line with official Imperial Japan directives as well as local (prefectural) forestry society guidelines.

Cite this Record

Sustainability and Tradition in Anindo Village, Okinawa, Japan. Alex Sweeney, Kara Bridgman Sweeney, Naoki Higa, Takumi Kishimoto, Naho Ishiki. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442612)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: 70.4; min lat: 17.141 ; max long: 146.514; max lat: 53.956 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20562