Legend of
Mori-no Kawa

One day, around 1324 AD, a farmer by name of Okuma, who lived near Ojana (down in the southern part of the island on the East China Sea side) went to a spring to wash himself after a hard day's work in the field. As he approached the spring he heard someone splashing in it. Since he had not seen anyone approach, he was very surprised. Silently he crept up to the spring and peeked through the trees. He was startled to find a very beautiful lady taking a bath. Looking up, he noticed a garment made from feathers hanging in a tree. He slipped away with this garment and hid it in the grain storehouse behind his house.

photos: Mick McClary
Returning to the spring, he discovered the woman looking for her garment. He asked her why she was upset and she explained that she was an angel who had been flying over the spring. She had been so attracted by the coolness of the water that she stopped to refresh herself... not imagining that anyone would see her. Okuma offered to help her look for the feathers so that she could continue to her own world.

When they were unsuccessful he asked her to stay with him for the evening. For many days after that they looked in vain. Slowly, Okuma felt himself falling in love with her and realized that she was coming to love him too. He asked her to marry him and she accepted. Soon she gave birth to a daughter, and then to a son.

The daughter used to care for her little brother and, one day she discovered the feather garment in the storehouse.

Since her brother was somewhat restless she began to sing a little song for him about the feathers. Overhearing the song, her mother found the feathers and flew away to her own country. When Okuma returned his children told him what had happened. He was sad but he'd known all along that some day she would have to return to her own kind. Okuma eventually became quite respected and was given many honors by the people.

The daughter married the king's brother and became a princess. The son, who was named Satto, became Lord of Urasoe and King of Chuzan (the "Middle Kingdom") from 1349 to 1395. King Satto had begun trade with Ming China and many Okinawans consider him to have been the most important of kings. His tomb is situated along a stream, then up some steps carved into a cliff. Many still go there to pray.

Here I am approaching the spring, March 18, 2014. My friend, Rob Avery took the photo.

This is a photo that I took of the spring March 18, 2014.

Return to History of Okinawa

Return to Legends

Return to King Satto


1996-2014 ClickOkinawa.com