Muduru Michi

Ginama is a small village on a long strip of land. The East China Sea lies in front of the village and Asumori lies to the back ot it. There weren't any good fields to plant food on, so the people of Ginama village needed the larger fields to farm on which Hedo Uibaru (the part of Kayauchi Banta) had.

They had to travel through the steep terrain of Muduru Michi to go to Hedo Uibaru. It was so difficult to travel Muduru Michi that they could not farm enough fields even though there were large fields there. They lived in poverty and could not keep the pot boiling. So the children's faces grew pale. Many of the children were absent from school almost every day.

About eighty six years ago (1912), Mr. Toyama, the principal of Hedo public elementary school often visited houses and found that the people of Ginama village lived in poverty, which caused the long absences of the boys and girls. He thought of building Muduru Michi saying tohimself,"I want to help the people of this village to live more compfortably."

Then he went to Kunigami district office and the prefectural office again and again to a ppeal to the officials saying ,"Please build a road at Hedo Uibaru." The officials turned down his appeal saying that it was very dangerous to build a road there and that there were other plans before it. Mr. Toyama did not give up his idea and took the lead in advising the people and shortly afterwards began to build the road, Muduru Michi. First, he gathered the people of Ginama village and talked together with them about the work.They gave their their word to the following things.

1. All of us have to do our best not to drop behind during the road building.
2. Each man has to farm more than 30 tsubo (about 1 are) of land to plant sweet potatoes in case of starva- tion.
3. All of us have to pull three sweet potatoes on our way home from the fields during the road building.

Every day forty or fifty people of Ginama village rotated in building the road. The rocky cliff was very dangerous, so they hung their life ropes on the rocks or on the trees. They made some holes for the dynamite, gripping the chisels with one hand and brandishing the hammers with the other hand. Men and women gathered a lot of stones from the mountains to make the stone wall. The road building went on day by day. They piled up the stone wall making it higher and higher.

About the time when the road work was more than half way finished, the accident happened. The stone wall which was piled up 50 meters high was destroyed raising a cloud of dust with the huge noise. At that time Mr. Toyama was at the table eating and he ran to the scene with his chopsticks in his hand. The accident that he thought might happen occured. He knew that the ground had to be strongly built to make a high stone wall. If it was not so, the stone wall might fall. Fearing that it might happen he told the stone masons,"I want you to build piles of stones from the bottom 3 meters high." They said to him,"Don't worry about it." and paid no attention to him. If at that time, the stone masons had to listened to Mr. Toyama's request, this kind of accident would not have happened.

Even though all the people felt discouraged, they were glad that noone was hurt. Encouragingly they said to one another, "Let's pile up a strong stone wall and this time we will pile the stones better." The people of Ginama village withstood many kinds of trails. The new road which they were waiting for a long time was opened at last. It was in Novembe, just half a year after the road work had begun. The old people and the children began to use the new road even on rainy and windy days free from fear. Joyously the people of the village held a torchlight parade setting up flags, pulling the big ropes and celebr- ting the completion of the new road frommorning to night.

Mr. Toyama wrote the following a Ryukyu poem with a joyful feeling at that time.

"Muduru Michi Akiti,Yugahuyuni Mukati, Usakaimisori,Kwaumaga Madin"
(We built the road of Muduru Michi at last, so now we will be able to live plentifully. Please have better and better days.Even to our children and children's children, for good of all.)

The new road was built allowing the farmers,horses and cattle to come and go to Hedoui Baru actively. The reclama- tion of Hedoui Baru advanced rapidly. Rice fields and farms were extending. In 1919(Taisho 8), the people of Ginama village got first place in the sugar cane harvest of Kunigami-son (village), and they also raised more cattle. After World War 11 the reclamation of Headoui Baru advanced rapidly. Also in 1952 Kitkuni elementary and junior high schools were built in Hedo Uibaru. Then the irrigation route was constructed in 1956, about 10 kilometers from the Ginama dam. Enough water could irrigate about 70 centiares of rice fields. In this way the people of Ginama village are making a good living.

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