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The Ryukyu Islands Feng Shui Village Landscape

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image of Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

In a typical Ryukyu "Feng Shui" village, a forest belt, known as village Ho:go, was planted to curve in the front and extend to the east and the west to embrace the village along with preserved forest on the rear hill. Lines of Fukugi trees (Garcinia subelliptica) were planted to embrace the houses. Compared to the more symbolic existence of Feng Shui trees in China and other regions in East Asia, tree planting on a large scale was used as a practical means to repair defective topography with little protection from the strict natural condition on Ryuku's flat islands. This study focuses on village layout, forest composition in the front forest belt, habitat embracing trees, and forest plantations on the back hill. Garcinia subelliptica and Calophyllum inophyllum are the predominant species in the upper storey in the forest belt. A large number of species are also found in the under storey vegetation in the preserved forest. Thus, a Ryukyu Feng Shui village landscape, which embodies a symbiosis of the nature and human intervention, provides an ideal village landscape pattern in the Ryukyu Islands.

Affiliations: 1: The United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Kagoshima University (Allied Ryukyu University), 1-banchi, Senbaru, Nishihara Town, Okinawa Prefecture, 903-0213, Japan; 2: Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus, 1-banchi, Senbaru, Nishihara Town, Okinawa Prefecture, 903-0123, Japan; 3: Midori Net, Okinawa Prefecture, 901-1112, Japan


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