Last updated 10/1/14
Ryota Shimabukuro, “Event introducing Okinawan literature held at US Library of Congress” (Ryukyu Shimpo, 9/14/14): On September 9, an event introducing Okinawan literature titled “Living Spirit” was held at the US Library of Congress in Washington D.C…. The event started with the introduction of prominent Okinawan literary works by Prof. [Frank] Stewart [University of Hawaii] who summarized them in English. [Katsunori] Yamazato [Meio University] explained the social background to the works. Yamazato stressed that social situations have been inseparable from Okinawa literature.
See photos from the Maui Okinawa Festival 2014 (30 photos) held on Sep. 20 at the Maui Mall.
“Symposium on endangered languages held to preserve the Ryukyuan languages” (Ryukyu Shimpo, 9/18/14): On September 17 at the Okinawa Convention Center in Ginowan City, the 18th Foundation of Endangered Languages Symposium was held. It was the first time for the event to be held in East Asia. Researchers presented the critical problem of the dying out of Ryukyuan languages. They also reported on preservation efforts in Hawaii, where the Okinawan community has initiated various activities to perpetuate use of the language. Presenting Ryukyuan dance and performing arts, the symposium showcased the cultural diversity and uniqueness of Okinawa to the world. About 100 people from 21 countries, including speakers and researchers of endangered languages, took part in the symposium.
“Shokichi Kina to run in November gubernatorial race” (Ryukyu Shimpo, 9/18/14): The Okinawa Democratic Party of Japan announced its intention to field a candidate, Shokichi Kina, a former member of the House of Councilors, in the gubernatorial race on Nov. 16th at its executive board meeting on Sep. 16th in Naha. [Wikipedia: Kina is “a Japanese rock musician and politician. He, along with his band Champloose, played a large role in the Okinawan home-grown ‘folk rock’ scene in the 70s and 80s…. His song ‘Subete no Hito no Kokoro ni Hana o’ [or simply ‘Hana‘], as recorded by himself and others, has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.”]
Map It! Okinawa is an excellent source of information for travelers intent on exploring on their own. Examples: “Sukumichi Road and the Old Okukubi Bridge” (8/25/14); “The Iha Nuru Tomb” (8/16/14); “The Okawa Water Park, Kin Town” (7/31/14); “The Nankabama Monument” (7/14/14). Here’s a quote from the last article: “Yaka village chronicles claim that family members of Shō Toku fled north after the King was overthrown. They hid in the mountains during the day and traveled under the cover of darkness. On the 7th day they reached Nankabama Beach.” Set aside time to browse this site, which is filled with many interesting articles in a clearly designed format that maximizes driving directions.
Hiroaki Sato, “Condemnation [of Japanese government’s involvement in kidnapping Korean women to serve as comfort women] attributed to ‘utter nonsense’” (op-ed, Japan Times, 9/29/14): On Aug. 5, the Asahi Shimbun announced that it had “judged the Jeju Island testimony to be false.” In sum, the paper was finally rejecting the assertion by a man named Seiji Yoshida that, back in 1943, he had “hunted out 200 young Korean women on Jeju Island” to provide the Japanese armed forces with “comfort women.”…For one thing, Yoshida’s “testimony” had been known to be false since at least the early 1990s. In fact, in 1989, when his book, “My War Crimes” (1983) detailing his claims, was translated into Korean, a Korean reviewer for The Jeju Newspaper had stated Yoshida’s stories were “utter nonsense.”
“McDonalds to start delivery service on Okinawa on Oct. 2nd” (Ryukyu Shimpo, 9/26/14): McDonald’s Japan announced that it will start a new delivery service called ‘Mac Delivery’ at two stores; Kokusai Street Makishi for Naha area and Ohira Inter for Urasoe from October 2nd…. Mcdonald’s has ran delivery service as a test case in Tokyo area since Dec. 2010, and gradually expanded it to other areas in the capital region. There are now 183 stores in 11 prefectures out of 3,112 McDonald’s stores in Japan that offer the service. The delivery service is limited to orders from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and the delivery area is limited to around 10-minute-drive from the store.