Category Archives: Images

‘Ōshima Hikki’ – Account of an 18th-Century Ryukyuan Ship

Rodney Inefuku’s latest post, “Okinawan and Japanese Boats” (8/6/16), prompted me to google Okinawan boats, and in the process I stumbled on one of the best sites on both Okinawan history and Okinawan karate — Ryukyu Bugei. The owner is … Continue reading

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Okinawan and Japanese Boats

I was always curious how Okinawans used to travel about Okinawa island during the old days. There was a road built by one of the Okinawan kings, which ran from Naha to Nago city past Nago through Taira village and … Continue reading

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Uema Ayano’s ‘Imi Shijiku’ and Thoughts of Ancient Okinawan Ships

I have been listening to a beautiful Okinawan song, “Imi Shijiku” by Ayano Uema (see the video below), for some time. I love the beautiful sound of her sanshin (3-string instrument). I didn’t know what the title and the verses … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Haneji, History, Images, Japan, Minyo, Singer, Uema Ayano | 2 Comments

Okinawan Tribute Ships

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Photos from Governor Ige’s Trip to Okinawa and Guangdong Oct. 2015

Photos and captions from Governor David Ige’s Facebook page. For a video briefing of the trip, click here. Photos from Okinawa

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US Olympian with Roots in Haneji, Okinawa

Yoshinobu (Yoshi) Oyakawa represented the United States at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helinski, Finland. There, he won the gold medal in the 100 meter backstroke setting a new record in the process. Yoshi is considered the last of the great … Continue reading

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An A’ala Street Story

Gladys Sui Bun Young, my mother, was born on November 28, 1917, at home at 1071 A’ala Street bordering A’ala Park and across the river from Chinatown. Gladys was one of six girls born into the Young family. In their … Continue reading

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Uncle Hoso: A Hero and a Loving Father

For many years when I was at my Aunty Annie’s (dad’s twin sister) apartment across from Punahou School and went to the bathroom, I used to pass some family pictures that hung on her hallway wall. I would sometimes stop … Continue reading

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Marines Protecting Orphan – Battle of Okinawa

Special thanks to Ed for sharing the link to this precious photo of two U.S. Marines, during the Battle of Okinawa, protecting an Okinawan child orphaned by the battle.

Posted in History, Images, International | 3 Comments

Haneji Community Center – Sometime After 1945

Updated 1/27/15, 23:00 I was told by my cousin, Yasuo Inafuku, who lives in Taira village, Haneji, Okinawa, that the photo below is of the Haneji Community Center, which was located next to Oyakawa village. My dad, Ronald Inefuku, had … Continue reading

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1850 British View of ‘Lewchew and the Lewchewans’

Last updated 10/12/14, 11/29/18 Two and a half years before Commodore Matthew C. Perry arrived, George Smith, the Anglican bishop of Hong Kong, dropped anchor at Naha, Okinawa. The date was 3 October 1850, and Perry wouldn’t arrive until 26 May … Continue reading

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Compact Between the U.S. and the Kingdom of Loo-Choo, ll July 1854

The text of the compact below is from J. Willett Spalding’s The Japan Expedition: Japan and Around the World: An Account of Three Visits to the Japanese Empire, Redfield, New York, 1855: 339-341 []. Spalding served aboard the expedition flagship, … Continue reading

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The Floor Plan of Houses in Old Okinawa

Last updated 10/13/14 My curiosity about the old Okinawan house began with a drawing that my Dad made about 2 to 3 years before he passed away. While visiting him at his house, out of the blue, he took my … Continue reading

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Rare U.S. Photos of Civilians from the Battle of Okinawa

The following photos of civilians caught up in the turmoil of the Battle of Okinawa in 1945 are from the late Lieutenant Reinhart T. Kowallis’s collection. Most were taken by the Lieutenant, but some may have been taken by other … Continue reading

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Okinawan Festival 2014 – Photos

Last updated 8/31/14 These photos were shot between 2:50pm and 3:40pm on Saturday, 8/30/14, at the annual Okinawan Festival in Kapiolani Park, Honolulu. Thus, they capture only a brief 50-minute slice of the 2-day event. Still, they capture some of … Continue reading

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In the Early-20th Century, Ryukyu Clothing Banned in Schools

The following photos and quoted caption are from Valerie H. Barske’s “‘Dancing Through’ Historical Trauma: Okinawan Performance in Post-Imperial Japan” (Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, Issue 24, June 2010).

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Video: ‘Okinawa 1950s to 1960s’

This video, comprising still photos, was created and uploaded to YouTube by Donn Cuson (aka “Desert Donn”) on 5/12/13. The images are among the best I’ve seen from this period. I especially like the Okinawa minyo in the soundtrack. I … Continue reading

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Kokusai Dori; Ishikawa Woodblock; ‘Okinawa: The Last Battle’

Umushirikutu See Ishikawa Toraji’s woodblock print, ‘Ryukyu Market,’ (琉球の市場 Ryukyu no ichiba) c. 1935. * * * Read Okinawa: The Last Battle (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1948), the work of combat historians of the 1st Information and Historical Service, Tenth … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Culture, History, Images, Publication, Travel | 1 Comment

Junko Fisher: Ryukyu Dance and Music Lessons in NYC, Summer 2014

For details, see Susan Miyagi Hamaker’s “Ryukyu Dance and Music Lessons with Junko Fisher,” Japan Culture NYC, 6/3/14.

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767 Children Killed in 1944 When Tsushima Maru Torpedoed

Updated 10/11/14, 5/31/15, 6/6/15, 1/5/17 In my Google Alerts this morning, I found an item from the Ryukyu Shimpo about a WWII memorial service held at Tinian, in the southeast of Okinawa “one of the three principal islands of the … Continue reading

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Cocco: Singer, Songwriter, Author, Actor – Genius

She goes by Cocco, and she’s a multi-gifted songwriter, singer, author, and actor. Her name is Satoko Makishi (真喜志 智子), and she’s from Naha, Okinawa. Her works and performances are edgy, and she’s socially and environmentally conscious. She’s a one-off, … Continue reading

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‘The Power of the Sanshin’ – Exhibit Ends 5/11/14

From Japan Update 5/1/14: This exhibit at the Okinawa Prefectural Museum ends on 11 May 2014. Here’s more from the article: The sanshin program takes visitors through how the sanshin has changed its form from the Chinese three-string instrument, which … Continue reading

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Tule Lake Relocation Center – A Personal Reflection

Updated 4/27/14 For “place of birth” in the hundreds of forms I’ve filled out since grade school, I’ve always written “Newell, California,” but I’ve never known much about the place and don’t recall anything about it. I grew up on … Continue reading

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Color Film of Shuri Castle Strafing in 1945

Updated 5/4/14 A film clip shot by a U.S. military reconnaissance aircraft during a bombing and strafing run in the Battle of Okinawa in mid-April 1945 was shown in a recent ANN newscast. The image above was captured from the … Continue reading

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An Amazing Collection of Okinawa Photos

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Okinawa-Related Courses at University of Hawaii-Manoa

The following are courses that are available at the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus. Please check the class schedule to see what’s offered for the upcoming semester. ANTH 487 Okinawa and Its Diaspora – (3 credits) Explores the ties … Continue reading

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‘Karakara’ – 2012 Canada-Japan Film Set in Okinawa

Updated 5/3/14 Karakara is a joint Canada-Japan film, released on August 31, 2012. It was written and directed by Claude Gagnon and stars Gabriel Arcand, Youki Kudoh, and Megumi Tomita. At the 2012 Montréal World Film Festival, it won the … Continue reading

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Miss International 2012 Contestants Visit an Okinawa High School

The following HD (1280×720) video was uploaded to YouTube by missinterokinawa on 10/15/12. The central focus is the Miss International contestants, but just as if not more fascinating is the glimpse at Okinawa’s high school students. Note appended to the … Continue reading

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London Okinawa Day 2014

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Doll Festival: Parade in Traditional Ryukyuan Costume

“For the Doll’s Festival, people dressed in traditional Ryukyuan costume walked through the streets in a michijune parade in the First Commercial Avenue in Okinawa City on March 1″ (Ryukyu Shimpo, 3/2/14). “Okinawa (沖縄市 Okinawa-shi?, Okinawan: Uchinaa) is the second-largest … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Festival, History, Images, Travel | 2 Comments