Feeding an Island

The agriculture on Taketomi Island, due to the lack of water, largely depended on producing grains and vegetables. People plowed very thin soil piled up on the solid rock of coral reef. To protect the soil from wind and waves, the whole field was separated from the sea by s barrier of trees, with each field was subdivided by short stone walls called "ajira." In addition, people once depended on not only a calendar but also a celestial observation tool called a "hoshimiseki (star-watching stone)" in order to decide the perfect timing for sowing the field. This stone was used to observe the location of stars in order to make sure whether the sowing season had come or not.

Due to the impossibility of paddy field cultivation, they traveled over to Iriomote Island by sailing a small unique boat made from hollowed out palm tree trunks called Matsufuni, or a small local peculiar boat called "sabani." They built a temporary settlement on Yubu Island, and produced rice with the help of water buffaloes. Several unique shore reefs and coral reefs en route to the island were named so they didn't get lost or drift off their course because of the wind changes as the seasons changed.

People fished and gathered seaweed at the sea, especially in the shallow water and sandy areas surrounded by coral reefs. The traditional way of fishing used 'ingaki' (trap fence for fish) and needed a trap fence, called 'bata', set in a sandy place. 'Nzotori' (octopus catch) took place in the shallows of coral reefs. 'Izari' (fire-fishing), casting nets, and gill nets were also characteristic ways of traditional fishing.
Please look at a then folk document in Kihoin-shushukan.

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