April 29,2003

Return to the Prefecture

An American female karate practitioner will bring back a dragon tapestry with Geranium crests that was brought to America by an American Battle of Okinawa Veteran.

A female American karate practitioner has acquired a tapestry with the image of a dragon printed upon it, which was taken by an American soldier from Shuri after the battle of Okinawa . She plans to give the tapestry back to Okinawa to pay back for the kindness she has received, and has asked the head of the Okinawa Museum to authenticate the tapestry.

The women is Marguerite “Peggy” Hess age 51, a 6th degree Blackbelt from Jensen Beach , Florida who along with her husband, runs a dojo of the Uechi-Ryu school. In 1989 she received it from an acquaintance that managed a Japanese martial arts goods store. According to this acquaintance, a young marine brought the tapestry back after the Battle of Okinawa.

The tapestry is about 2 meters long and 26 cm. Wide. It is made of gold thread and embroidered with a dragon as well as the Tokugawa family crests called the Geranium crest.

Hess is now visiting and training at the Okinawa Karate Association Training Center and she plans to return to America on April 30th.

“From the time I obtained the tapestry, I wanted to give it back to Okinawa . I want to donate it to some sort of public institution such as a museum” says Hess. Next April, she will return to Okinawa and bring the tapestry..

An acquaintance Hess knows through karate, Billy “Joe” Smith, age 34, an English Language Guidance councilor at a local middle school, showed a picture of the tapestry to the prefecture museum curator on the 28th. They stated, “ From the Geranium crests we can see that the tapestry came from mainland {Hanshu} to Okinawa , but as for what period, etc., we need to research to know for sure. But, we do know for certain that it is an important historical treasure”.