J is for Japan’s Underwater Ruins

The Letter JYonaguni Jima island lies near the southern tip of Japan’s Ryukyu archipelago. Just off the coast there is a spectacular treasure on the ocean floor – the remains of a long-ago civilization. Under the water one can see the ruins of a castle, a triumphal arch, five temples and a large stadium, all connected by roads and water channels.

Marine geologist Kimura has identified quarry marks in the stone, rudimentary characters etched onto carved faces, and rocks sculpted into the likenesses of animals.

But there is controversy about the ruins. Some believe that the stone formations were created by natural causes – faults and tectonic activity that caused the stone to break along planes and form straight edges.

Personally, I think they are actually ruins of an old civilization, rather like an Asian Atlantis, destroyed by earthquake or tsunami.

Yonaguni Ruins Scuba

By jpatokal http://wikitravel.org/en/User:Jpatokal [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

My Idea:

I would love to write a story about this ancient culture, perhaps even marrying it with the Atlantis culture. Perhaps they had a common origin. Or perhaps they were rivals. (I’d take poetic license and set them in the same time period.) Imagining what kind of people lived near Yonaguni Jima island is fascinating to me. Inventing a culture for them would be fun.

What do you think about Japan’s underwater ruins?

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