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Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum

沖縄県立博物館・美術館

Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum

The Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum opened in 2007 with the aim of providing visitors with a space to learn about Okinawan art, folklife, history, and natural history.

At the entrance of the museum, you will find gardens where you can see traditional Okinawan buildings. There's a thatch-roofed storehouse, and a traditional-style tile-roofed home. You will also see a number of shisa (a cross between a lion and a dog) statues - excellent examples of Okinawa's pottery and ceramics.

The Natural History section of the museum has a unique entrance. As you approach, you walk over a glass-floored walkway designed to look as though one is walking over coral, approaching an island. There's also a large screen upon which short films about the geological origins of the Ryukyu Islands, its natural environment, flora, and fauna are projected.

Inside the museum, there are several rooms that house collections that examine aspects of the islands' natural environment, including many specimens of the islands' flora and fauna. For the environmentally conscious, there is a discussion of the dangers facing coral reefs - an important topic for the Okinawan community.

Also included is a library, the possibility to try out traditional clothing, musical instruments, and other items. At the art museum , special exhibitions are held regularly and usually cover modern art by Okinawan, Japanese or other artists. Live performances are occasionally held as well. See the website for more details.

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