Liuchiuan is a not-for-profit blog for information that I’m gathering about Okinawans and Okinawa, their history and culture, past and present. It seeks to answer the question, Who are the Okinawans? I’ll be sharing information as I discover it, and I’ll be covering a wide range of topics in no set order.
Guest posts are welcomed. Submissions should be related to Okinawa and Okinawans, and the preferred style is informal and conversational. Preference will be given to pieces that have not been previously published. See my email address below. A brief bio, one or two lines, and a photo are also encouraged. If you send me the address to a web photo (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), I can capture it.
Variations on the spelling of Ryukyu include: Luchu, Loochoo, Lewchew, Liukiu, and Riukiu. For the naming of this blog, I chose George H. Kerr’s spelling, Liuchiu, in “Sovereignty of the Liuchiu Islands,” Far Eastern Survey, 14.8 (25 Apr. 1945), pp. 96-100.
Kerr’s Okinawa: The History of an Island People (Tuttle, 1958), is the definitive history (in English) of Okinawa. The complete first edition is available online here.1 A more contemporary English source is John Michael Purves’s The Ryukyu-Okinawa History & Culture Website.
My interest in Okinawans and Okinawa is personal. I’m sansei, 3rd generation Japanese-American. My paternal and maternal grandparents immigrated to Hawaii from Okinawa to work on plantations. Both my parents were born in Hawaii but went to Okinawa as children, for schooling, and returned to the U.S. as young adults. Thus, they were kibei, nisei (2nd generation) born in the U.S. but educated in Japan. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, my father was arrested and detained in the Sand Island stockade. A few months later, he, my mother, and my new-born sister were sent by ship to the mainland and by train to the Jerome, Arkansas, relocation center. Later, they were moved to the Tule Lake center in Northern California, where I was born toward the end of the war. After their release, they returned to Hawaii.
This blog was started on 21 June 2013.
The image in the blog header (top of the main page) is from an illustration of the Ryukyuan mission in Edo c. 1710.
You can reach me (Jim Shimabukuro) by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Kerr’s book is in the public domain: “Public Domain or Public Domain in the United States, Google-digitized: In addition to the terms for works that are in the Public Domain or in the Public Domain in the United States above, the following statement applies: The digital images and OCR of this work were produced by Google, Inc. (indicated by a watermark on each page in the PageTurner). Google requests that the images and OCR not be re-hosted, redistributed or used commercially. The images are provided for educational, scholarly, non-commercial purposes. Note: There are no restrictions on use of text transcribed from the images, or paraphrased or translated using the images.”