Wednesday, September 24, 2008

(Kahet )Tachibana Shinto Shrine Hike, August 2008

(Kahet )Tachibana Shinto Shrine Hike, August 2008

The weather has not been too bad these few days and so I decided to go on a hike to the Tachibana Shinto Shrine. It was not easy to walk in the jungle because it was a lot bushier compared to our last hikes. During the Japanese time the area was called “Kahet” which means orange in Chamorro. They called it Kahet because there were so many orange trees in that area during the Japanese time. The Japanese word “Tachibana” means wild orange.
The Tachibana Shrine is covered with growing Tagantagan and grass. The site is about 0.24 miles west from the Seabee Monument. The parking area for the shrine is surrounded by pine trees. The site is about 580 feet from the parking area. The flame tree was planted during the Japanese period and so it is thought that there could be sites of interest where ever those trees are found.
This is the jungle where we entered heading to Tachibana Shrine.

The photo above is of Lina and Erica hiking in the jungle.

There are an abundance of bamboo trees in the jungle where the site is. Weeds have difficulty growing in the bamboo tree forest.
The concrete foundations of the shrine remains and the fence is slowly breaking apart every year.

We are now on our way to the torii gate. If you walk to the left of the foundation you will be able to find it.

I drew this map so you can easily imagine how they build shrine and placed these structures.

This is the first lantern, the top part of the lantern has disappeared.

The second lantern still has its upper structure intact. I cleared off the lantern area because I could not get a good picture. The vines and weeds covered the entire lanterns

This is the right side of the leg.

The torii gate between the two lantern lay fallen on the ground. I cleaned the area too because I could not get a good picture of it. I wanted to take a picture of the entire gate but I didn’t have room to back up and so I decided to take a picture for each part of it.
This is the opposite side of the leg.

I put the two pictures together. (please click the picture to see lager image.)

There is a washing area for your hands and mouth to purify yourself before entering the shrine. This is a custom that is practiced in Japan.

There is a concrete foundation and its size is about 16 feet long. It seems to look like a water tank. I'm not sure but it's used to set the deity’s house on top of the stairs.

I am in the picture above. I am pulling up weeds around torii gate area.

We are returning back to the car and on the way back we found this mushroom.

On our next hike I plan to look for the missing part of the lantern.

By Mitch

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tinian beach old Leprosy sanitarium site

Tinian beach old Leprosy sanitarium site. July 2008

Erica Beach is also called Tinian Beach, Leprosarium Beach, or aka Nasarinu .
There was a sanitarium for leprosy patients near Erica beach. Other sanitariums were also built in Palau, Guam, Saipan, as well on Tinian at Erica Beach.
Erica(My dauter) and I walked on what was left of the sanitarium site.

You can get to Erica Beach by turning left of the Tinian Dump and there is a fork in the road. If you turn right you can see the graveyard for the leprosy patients who has passed away on Tinian. If you turn left you will be able to go to Erica Beach.

When driving into Erica Beach you can see the entrance to the sanitarium on the left side.
You can see the concrete walkways just right after the entrance area.
During the World War II, leprosy patients were sent to the sanitarium. It was said that the patients were strictly isolated in this area because they were afraid that the disease was easily transferable which is not true.

The surrounding areas is covered by fresh weeds. This is the second set of stairs.

There are long sidewalks that seem like they used to be used as hallways for the sanitarium.

There is a pile of cement bags that was used to create some kind of structure.

We were not sure what it was used for.

Because there are many snake plants in this area, there might have been a Japanese garden in this area. The Japanese used to use snake plants to build gardens.

It looks like a maze in the sanitarium.

Only the mark of the wall in a square building remains.

There is a square building structure where Erica is standing.

Erica is leaving the site.

There used to be a Guamanian who used to live on Tinian who was admitted to the sanitarium. He is still alive until this day.
After looking through the site we walked down to Erica Beach to pick some shells.

I asked Mr. Borja about some facts about the area from the Tinian Historical Preservation Office. I would like to express my thanks to him for telling me about the site.

By Mitch