Stephen Mansfield, “Isolation Helps Preserve Ishigaki’s Unique Charm,” Japan Times, 12/27/14 – A different past was evident in the older back streets of the port town, which were like dusty medinas — crooked lanes of salt-eroded cement homes covered in leprous paint — or older residences, whose timber had dried into a rigor mortis of stiffened and cracked clapboard…. Tony’s Cafe was not air-conditioned, but the door was left permanently ajar and an ancient electric fan stirred up a little freshness…. Where alcohol in many countries makes people talkative, introspective, sullen or violent, it inflames Okinawans in a different way, making them want to dance. And the dance is always the traditional kachāshī. Dancing is considered good social manners in Okinawa.
Michelle Camina, “Onna-son (Onna Village) Akama Athletic Park,” Okinawa Hai!, 12/19/14 – In this writer’s opinion, the best feature of Akama Sports Park is the soft rubberized running path encircling both stadiums and a parking lot. There are altogether four designated paths one may choose to run depending on the intensity of the desired workout. And each path takes full advantage of the scenic views of the coastline, mountainside, and river that feeds into the picturesque moated area nearest the track and soccer stadium.
“75-year-old Okinawan Woman Attains a Karate Black Belt,” Ryukyu Shimpo, 12/11/14 – 75-year-old Tsuneko Machida from Uechi Style Ageda Women’s Karate School in Adaniya, Kitanakagusuku Village passed a level four test. Tsuneko joined the Karate School when she was 63 years old. For 12 years, she regularly attended practices on Wednesdays and Fridays and showed a lot of discipline. It is rare for a 65-year-old person to start learning Karate, and pass the test at 75-year-old.
“National Theater Okinawa Introduce Cultures from Miyako and Korea for Its 10th Anniversary,” Ryukyu Shimpo, 12/17/14 – The National Theater Okinawa held its 10th anniversary special performance “Sacred Songs from Miyako and Chindo Ssit-kkim-gut from Korea” and introduced contrasting folk cultures. While Miyako’s sacred songs are simply performed only with songs, performers of Ssit-kkim-gut play instruments loudly to arouse emotions.
Louie Sanchez, “Hatsumode, New Years at the Naminoue Shrine,” Map It! Okinawa, 12/27/14 – The Naminoue Shrine is without question the most popular Shinto Shrine in the Ryukyu Islands. Many people visit here on New Year’s Day.
“Excited by Characteristic Formative Arts! Unknown Charms About ‘Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum,'” Okinawa Clip, 1/3/15 – “View of Naha Trading Port and Shurijo Caslte Folding Screen.” It is very rare that foreign vessels were described on a screen in those days. Please recall the present Naha Port and imagine the port town in the 19th century, and the image will assume even greater proportions!