The Shimadakara ("Island Treasure") Art Festival in Urama, Okinawa celebrates the people, culture, and nature of Japan's southern islands. One aim of the festival is to showcase the talent of local artisans in handmade crafts, as well an appreciation for utilizing the limited natural resources they must rely on in life through art. Japanese Twitter user Okinawa resident shiromadara (@oogomadara) may have stumbled upon the most impressive and imposing display of that art, with this massive wood and straw (from Chinese fan palm) dragon straight out of Japanese folklore.

Shiromadara says they shrieked when they turned around and noticed it while photographing the area, and they likely aren't alone.

Source: @oogomadara

Source: @oogomadara

Source: @oogomadara

The awesome dragon was created by Japanese artist and designer Ayako. The title of the piece is read as "Ryu Miyagi", although it is written with the same kanji for Ryugu-jo, an undersea castle from Japanese folklore ruled by Ryujin, the dragon kami of the sea. The dragon structure is situated on a hill overlooking the village next to a private residence, and when the wind blows, the island palm within the dragon moves and winds like a living creature.

Ayako introduces the piece with the following (translated from Japanese):

The island, where still the original scenery remains.

So much nature,

thank you for protecting our treasure.

The island with the dragon

When it gets quiet, you can hear it

The voice of wind

The voice of the island

The voice of your heart

Lend an ear to the various voices

To the moment that is here right now.

What can be seen

What can't be seen

I wonder what can be seen.

The festival ran from November 1st to November 10th this year, but you can follow the festival's website for information on upcoming editions.

By - Big Neko.