Okinawa Prefectural Designated Cultural Asset
The Tomb of Noguni Sokan
Type: "Memorial" asset
Date: Designated as cultural asset 22 Feb 1956
Location: 485 Kaneku-shimobaru, Kadena Town
In 1605, Noguni Sokan brought the sweet potato from China and began growing them in Noguni village. He then distributed the sweet potato to Nozato and Sunabe villages. Gima Shinjyo, who learned the secret of growing this plant from Noguni Sokan, taught the other villages throughout Okinawa how to grow the plant.
Within 15 years, the sweet potato spread throughout the island.
The sweet potato was resistant to harsh weather conditions like those in Okinawa and it flourished when the other crops failed. Thus, the spread of the sweet potato helped save the Okinawa people from starvation when typoons destroyed the other crops. Noguni Sokan was therefore admired by many people and was referred to as UMU-UHUSU. The Great Guardian of the sweet potato.
In 1700, Shouji Noguni Seiko, a leader of Noguni Village, built a stone platform and a miniature sanctuary as a permanent resting place for the remains of Noguni Sokan. In 1751, a plaque explaing Noguni Sokan's personal history was built. The tomb has remained undamaged, even through the Battle of Okinawa, and kept its shape as you see today.