Hai Sai! Welcome to my Blog.

Hello, my name is Tom Corrao and I am the blogger behind the Okinawaology Blog. I created this blog to share and discuss all things Okinawan. I’m also the Public Relations Officer and Minkan Taishi to the Chicago Okinawa Kenjinkai. My experience with Okinawa is derived from the time I spent there during the 1980's and 90's (10 years) when serving in the United States Air Force. I've also been married to an Okinawan woman for 30 years now and have been immersed in many things Okinawan through both friends and family. I do not claim to be all knowing about everything Okinawan but I try hard and study the history and culture. I welcome everyone that is interested in Okinawa and hope that I can provide useful information to those uchinanchu that may be curious about their culture and heritage. I also welcome those who are not of Okinawan heritage but have experienced, or are experiencing, the islands culture while stationed there with the United States Military. Comments are welcomed and will be published as long as they are in good taste and on track with the purpose of this blog. My hope with this blog is to bring Uchinanchu people around the world a little closer to their cultural roots by expressing information that has started to fade in light of a more modern world. We should never forget our culture or the people who came before us and through the Blog my intentions are to meld the old with the new and implant knowledge that will help maintain the traditions and culture of an island people.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Going on Vacation in Okinawa?

The other day I received a request on facebook from Mr. Bill Greear who is planning to visit Okinawa this year and asked me to comment on his Itinerary he has planned for his trip. He has posted it in Facebook groups as Okinawa 2010. I gave him some advice to stay longer or see less sites because it appears he hads too much to do in to little time. If your going to see the sites in Okinawa I would recommend to everyone that they take the time to really enjoy each and every one of them. Okinawa is all about a relaxed lifestyle and after all aren't vacations for relaxing?

I would now like to borrow some words from a book that my daughter obtained while participating in the Junior Study Tour in 2004. They were written by a man neamed Tatsuhiro Oshiro.

Anyone on a brief visit to Okinawa wishing to gain an understanding of Ryukyu history and Culture could scarcely do better than to pay a visit to Shuri Castle.
Having passed through the Shureimon outer gate, one espies the State Hall looming up over the castle walls. Only the top of the building is visible from this vantage point, but the beautiful contours of the walls which block the view of the lower part of the state hall surely offer an epitomization of Okinawan Culture. Curvature is the main stylistic feature of these contours. The surfaces and lines and the angles at which they intersect are all curved. In appearance the walls seem to represent a denial of the concept of the castle as a building intended for waging war. There was certianly a fair measure of civil strife on the island up to the beggining of the sisteenth century; the castle walls may well have come in useful in this connection. Nevertheless, Shuri Castle should surely be thought of primarily as a palace rather than a castle.

Okay, see  how when Mr. oshiro describes the Castle? He takes a wide open perspective on what he is actually looking at? Sure he has a vested interest in conveying the history and culture of the place but the way he approaches the subject should be how anyone should approach their vacation in the Ryukyu Island chain. Take a step back, don't hurry from site to site just to be able to say you've been there. Take in all that the history and culture has to offer. Sure you may not be able to take in as much if your time in the islands is limited, but you will come away with a greater appreciation and understanding for the places you have been in the end.

Here is a short video produced by the Okinawa department of tourism. Think about what you really want to do during your stay and plan your trip wisely. You will reap the benefits of a more relaxing vacation as a result.


  1. I find a speed of about 5-6 kilometers/hour a very comfortable pace for exploring The Ryukyus

  2. Yes why would you want to rush through paradise.