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Dangerous Izumizaki Rotary revamped

Date Posted: 2007-04-14

Izumizaki Rotary was one of Okinawaユ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 came often, not to mention lesser fender benders Now, with the help of a fortuneteller, officials have redesigned the intersection.

Construction realigned 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, Shinko Yamakawa, says the idea of new open space was approved both the Prefecture and Naha City.

The new Izumizaki intersection forms the face of the dragon, while Nishinjo Street is the tail. Smaller, narrow lanes or streets form the dragonユs legs. The construction was completed in March and Yamakawa predicts that, "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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