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Dangerous Izumizaki Rotary to be revamped

Date Posted: 2007-03-02

Izumizaki Rotary is one of Okinawa’s most dangerous intersections.

With three roads and streets converging on Highway 58 in Naha City to create a five-prong traffic nightmare, traffic fatalities have come often. Now, with the help of a fortuneteller, officials are setting out to redesign the intersection.

Construction is beginning to realign the traffic flow itself, creating in the process an open space in the shape of a dragon. Fortunetellers believe the dragon brings good luck, and wards away bad luck.

Believers say the redesigned intersection and its dragon will end fatal accidents at the site in the Kume area of the city.

The dragon concept and the locale are fortuitous because the past Ryukyu Kingdom and its Chinese influences focused heavily on Chinese culture, customers and fortune telling in the district. The Chairman of the Community in Kume, Shinkou Yamakawa, says the idea of new open space has drawn approval both from the Prefecture and Naha City.

The current Izumizaki intersection forms the face of the dragon, while Nishinjou Street is the tail. Smaller, narrow lanes or streets form the dragon’s legs. Yamakawa predicts that, after the construction is complete next March, “car accidents will be no more. I believe this space made by fortunetellers will make no car accidents come at all. I am a believer!”

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