邊土名 徹平 Hentona Teppei
Director of Hentona Sabani, shipbuilder, and Okinawa wooden boat culture guide
Born in 1983 in Okinawa, Hentona decided to become a shipbuilder after encountering a traditional wooden sailboat, Sabani, on Ishigaki Island when he was 33 years old. After learning how to build and operate boats as an apprentice, he opened Hentona Sabani in Ogimi Village, located in Yanbaru, northern Okinawa Island, in 2020. Hentona aims to convey the charm of Sabani wooden sailboats to the wider world and to different generations. With this goal in mind, he builds ships as a shipbuilder and also operates a Sabani sailing tour as a captain's guide using a ship he built himself.
・ Opened Hentona Sabani in 2020 ・ Sabani wooden sailboat ship carpenter ・ Sabani sailing tour captain and guide ・ Okinawa Marine Leisure Safety Bureau certified water rescuer, certified snorkel guide ・ Languages: Japanese, English
Sabani, traditional wooden sailboats, have long been used for practical purposes in Okinawa and the surrounding islands. They nearly disappeared once in the past due to changes in power and materials. We are working to promote this valuable maritime culture and pass it on to the next generation. The mainstay of the attraction is the Sabani sailing tour, which offers the experience of cruising around Shioya Bay and its surrounding waters, which are known for their scenic beauty. Not only can you enjoy paddling with an eke (paddle), but on days when the wind is favorable, you can also experience comfortable sailing. We also offer a plan to cruise offshore and enjoy snorkeling in the coral reefs. We will explain the shipbuilding process, which we can only share with you because we are shipbuilders, and we will also tell you the story of when the Sabani was active in the local community. We hope you will enjoy this tour where you can learn about the culture as well as the nature of Okinawa.
Q: What is your most memorable experience in nature?
The sight I had when I rowed through a huge swell that loomed like a wall during a 40-km island hopping voyage on the Sabani. It was a precious experience that allowed me to experience firsthand the beauty and threat of nature. Other unforgettable experiences include swimming in the sea at night, which was filled with glowing noctilucent insects, and encountering a school of manta rays that came close to me while I was waiting for a wave while surfing.
Q: What does nature represent to you?
An irreplaceable presence that, by coming into deep contact with it anew, has allowed me to regain my sense of self. A place to return to.
Q: What has nature taught you?
How important it is to respect and fear rightly from the heart.
Q: What do you hope that people will get out of experiences with you as a guide?
First of all, I hope that people will genuinely enjoy the experience of sailing in a warm wooden boat, catching the wind in the sails. I would be happy if they could rediscover the joy of being in contact with nature and experience Okinawan culture firsthand. I hope that many people will experience the happiness that can be gained through the Sabani.