Here we see an outdoor market with a variety of fresh produce for sale. The sweet potato has been a staple crop on Okinawa since it was first introduced in 1606 when Noguni Sokan brought it from China. By 1620 the sweet potato, To-imo (Chinese potato), was widely grown throughout the islands. A few slips of the plant were taken to Yamakawa Village in Satsuma in 1665 or 1667 by a Japanese by name of Ryuiemon and thus it was introduced to Japan. It was cheap and nourishing for human as well as livestock consumption. In time the sweet potato was used to make a rich and heady alcoholic beverage. An historic marker was placed in a public garden in Naha in 1937 to honor Naguni for his contribution to Okinawan culture and its economy.


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