Home » Japan » Cape Hedo: Northernmost End of Okinawa

Cape Hedo: Northernmost End of Okinawa

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We took advantage to a rare opportunity for us when we got handed a key to a vehicle. We then left it up to faith to take the wheel. Stopping at wherever the road takes us, the joyride sent us to some of the most exciting and rare finds in Okinawa. Our adventures here. We continued more going up until we decided to go the northernmost point of Okinawa. The signs read Cape Hedo. We confirmed it on the map. And off, we jumped into the unknown.

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A forewarning, you might find this transition morbid and grim.

There was this cave where civilians went into hiding during the Battle of Okinawa which was part of World War II. When the war was over, Americans asked the Japanese civilians to come out of the cave to rescue them and they let them know that they will be treated well. Well, the civilians were scared of being killed or sexually violated as they had witnessed the aggressors had done. The little women asked their parents to execute them rather than their fear of being raped. The parents killed their children then they killed themselves. A tally of 83 people died from those harrowing moments. Some still stayed in the cave days after the others because they still didn’t want to come out because of uncertainty, or out of humility.

Today, Japanese will tell you that the bombing of Pearl Harbor is the most humilitating part of history they wish to never happen again.

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I don’t mean to correlate the horrid past from the adventure. I just want to address something. Japanese people are the nicest group of people. I experienced and proved that recently when someone chased me up to when I was going down the stairs just to return back the money I overpaid. Coming here on the island, we were warned not to worry about our belongings if we left it inside a taxi. They will go out of their way to bring it back. And they really are just very well-mannered people. These are things I just don’t expect in other countries or areas I’ve ever been to.

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Jumping into the unknown is a balancing act. There is a very fine line between risk and its management and the end result and the adventure while achieving it. I, myself, am always double-thinking, always hesitant, or I would always have to know something first before I do it. As I deeply contemplated about it, I don’t see any difference from the people who took their own lives as compared to those who survived. Both of them weighed their choices.

Consider your options. Feed your curiousity as it will creep, and potentially eat you. Know your limit, seek your point of view, and assess where you at. You follow your gut. And you just go with it. That’s what we all just have to do. What follows is uncertainty. 

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There’s beauty in uncertainty.

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Here’s to a very brave woman who went out her ways to find her grandparent’s past. She went all the way to Italy. Not only that, she only went off a hunch, of faith and trust to people in that foreign country whom she never personally met before. Follow her story here.

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56 Comments

  1. lautal says:

    I like a lot your series of Japanese stories. There are many interesting and unknown facts for myself about this country and place where you’ve been. The pictures are great. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Angeline M says:

    Beautiful post, Rommel. The Japanese people are a cultured and refined people. They have seen the sins of aggressions in those who went before them, and have used that to change for the good. I don’t know why I love to watch Japanese television, I don’t speak Japanese, it just seems to attract me. I love your words on feeding our curiosity and jumping into the unknown; if we don’t do that we become stagnant and miss a lot of life.
    May peace prevail on earth!

    • rommel says:

      Beautiful respond, Angeline. I watch Japanese shows as well even though I don’t understand it. Of any of the countries I’ve visited, Japanese TV is the one that’s easy to catch without knowing the language because they are very visual and graphic.
      I wish other aggressive country territories get the same end result with what is Japan’s mentality now. May peace prevail on earth! ;)

  3. RMW says:

    “There’s beauty in uncertainty.” That says it all. Every day should be an adventure… even if it is trying something different at your job!

    • rommel says:

      Peeing into the wind is a hard thing to do when it comes to your line of work. Certainly and eventually, we have to take a gamble and make appropriate sacrifices.
      Hi, I think its best for you to fix your bloglink on your gravatar that way people can just click your name and they will redirect to your blog.

  4. RC says:

    Reblogged this on places-names [from a peripatetic point of view] and commented:
    my father worked here, for a while….

  5. Ingrid says:

    My husband very much enjoyed his stay in Japan and has shared similar stories. I wish more people were like this, Love the photo of you out on the rock ledge. Great post :-)

    • rommel says:

      I hope my posts somehow nudge some of your husband’s memory. I was thinking about your pic when I was walking towards the ledge esp. the girls I was with were repeatingly reminding me to be careful. ;)

  6. Great post, love photos, thanks for sharing! God Bless

  7. Amy says:

    Thank your for the stories of Japanese. I found Japanese are kind and self-disciplined people, and they take so much pride of their culture. I have a lot of respect for them. Well said about uncertainty. That is a cool shot of Rommel sitting on the rock. Send my thanks to him :)

  8. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Brilliant photos Rommel. What a journey you had – very moving, those war sites are harrowing, i went to Gallipoli so I know. The blog link is interesting because my friends son is currently teaching in Melfi!

    • rommel says:

      It’s a bit tough to read war stories. It’s hard to imagine being there. Everyone is a casualty, survived or not.
      The featured post is awesome. I really like her diligence and determination to dig the bottom of her roots. Something only the rarest of people even consider doing.

  9. I am learning so many things while reading your blog. Thanks for the education! Love the photo of you, Rommel, on the rock cliff!

  10. johanesjonaz says:

    Nice story rommel…. it is a lesson, indeed :)

  11. I will always remember the Japanese touring Pearl Harbor at the same time we were onboard the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, and the tremendous respect they were paying. There are no clean hands in war, and it’s always sad to me that we are sometimes asked to bear the shame of decisions made decades before us! I’m so glad you’re really getting to know the Japanese people at this time, and from the photos you’ve shared, Okinawa is a fascinating and beautiful place. I’m learning a lot from you! I really do admire your sense of adventure. It is inspiring! :-)

  12. TBM says:

    What a stunning coastline and I would love to visit to understand the history more.

    • rommel says:

      Some dark, interesting, and rich histories come your way if you do happen to come. Japanese people did learn from that war. I don’t know why few others are not willing to see things from histories.

  13. cocomino says:

    You did a great trip. I have never been that place although I have been Okinawa over five times. That’s a beautiful story.

  14. Another lovely post…..and you write about uncertainty in such an uplifting way. I guess sometimes it’s not the uncertainty itself which is the challenge, but how secure or unsafe we are feeling within ourselves at the time…..what else is going on in our lives.
    A lovely looking and sounding place.

    • rommel says:

      True… That’s why I included kmowing your limit, seeking your point of view and assess where you at. Sometimes, it really comes down that.
      Thanks for the comment and visit, greenmackenzie. :)

  15. Madhu says:

    Beautiful writing to match your terrific shots Rommel! It is amazing that so much violent history has not affected their integrity adversely! What a gracious people! I agree that it is such a relief not to have to worry about being cheated or shortchanged there :-)

  16. Also you must deal with the written language problem. You must go places where everything is in Japanese. Yikes!

  17. Sun says:

    well i came by this morning and hopped over to see your feature blogger and naturally when i tried to return this way my internet connection shut down. grrr. so back again, night time now. ☺ you mention getting flagged down for overpaying – amazing. and the people in the cave who sacrificed themselves during the war – tragic. somehow this culture needs to spread worldwide so we can truly see peace prevail on earth. (irony, i bet this culture is not predominately Christian but Buddhist. right?)

    • rommel says:

      Let’s turn to my reliable friend Wiki…

      Religion[edit]
      Okinawans have traditionally followed Ryukyuan religious beliefs, generally characterized by ancestor worship and the respecting of relationships between the living, the dead, and the gods and spirits of the natural world.

      Also according to Okinawa.com…

      Okinawa’s indigenous religion is animistic and shamanistic. But it is believed that Okinawan animism and shamanism have been transformed and influenced by Shintoism, Buddhism, and Taoism…

      Fascinating, isn’t it? The nicest group of people I know doesn’t have that clear cut known or the usual religion.

      • Sun says:

        your Wiki friend – a smart one. :)
        i think when we honor the ancestors both living and dead, it puts our mind in the right framework, that is we are all connected – timeless. it really sounds like a common sense way to worship. it is fascinating. thanks.

  18. Wow! You are truly blessed bro to see all these amazing places.

  19. themofman says:

    The mass suicide in the cave somewhat reminds me of the story of Masada in Israel.

  20. There is a certain beauty in uncertainty. Thanks for this fascinating post!

  21. poppytump says:

    A very moving account Rommel .
    Such interesting knowledge and experiences you share .
    Look at you out on the ledge ;-)

  22. Oo look its you sitting on the ragged cliff !!! :D
    Amazing photographs. I’m so glad to have been witnessing your experiences around the world :)

  23. wanderingcha says:

    I wonder if a film has been made out of that gruesome cave incident though I don’t think I’ll be able to bear watching it if ever.

  24. LuAnn says:

    I love reading about your adventures in Japan and your desire to learn and experience the culture. This is exactly how we are when we travel to another country. You are the epitome of the respectful and engaged traveler. Love that photo of you on the rocks, gives one a sense of freedom. :)

    • rommel says:

      Thank you Luann for the strong compliment. I’ll take that one heartily.

      • LuAnn says:

        I sincerely mean it. I felt a connection when I started reading your blog some time ago, like we had been kindred spirits of sorts. The more I read, the more I realize that we have many of the same philosophies regarding life.

  25. magiecrystal says:

    Such beauty despite its terrible history. Thanks for the lesson and for sharing your adventures.

  26. […] immersion; to exercise or mesh with traditions. There are places you go to for an adventure, random or not. To a far distance or just around the corner. There are places you go for an event. So many […]

  27. […] immersion; to exercise or mesh with traditions. There are places you go to for an adventure, random or not. To a far distance or just around the corner. There are places you go for an event. So many […]

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