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.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Okinawans innocents caught between Japanese and American Forces

This is a short film I made about the WWII battle on Okinawa and the innocents that were trapped with no where to go. War, destruction, the loss of family, famine, and racism were just a few of the hardships the Okinawans had to endure. Okinawa was originally part of the Kingdom of the Ryukyus, a peaceful, independent monarchy with its own language and customs – a bustling center of trade situated between Japan, Taiwan and Korea. After being forcibly assimilated by Japan, it was dismissed by the Japanese for decades as a backwater colony. 

During World War II, the Japanese army took up defensive positions on the island chain, and many civilians were forced to endure the unimaginable battle that took place there. The US Army estimates that 142,000 civilians, more than 1/3rd of the population, were killed, including tens of thousands of women and children. I recently spoke with an older member of our Chicago Okinawa Kenjinkai who told me she was eleven when the battle occurred. She told me of her family’s plight, and having to stay in the jungle on the mountain side with no shelter even though it poured down rain much of the time. She told me of American soldiers who came and gave them chocolate bars. She said they were so terrified that she just stood there with her eyes down afraid to look into their eyes. When the men realized that they were afraid that the chocolate might be poisoned they opened the candy and bit it to show them it was safe to eat. She said that one day a friend of the family came to where they were in the jungle and tried to convince them it was safe to go to the camps the Americans had set up for the civilians. Two of the people she was with decided to go. Later they saw them on the trail in the forest. They had been killed by Japanese soldiers that had overheard their conversation. War is a terrible situation for an innocent population. Let's "Practice Peace" people!


  1. I just discovered your blog, thanks to a link from Richie at

    I'm an aspiring historian, art historian, whathaveyou, with a particular interest in the Kingdom of Ryukyu, though more modern/contemporary Okinawan issues interest me as well.

    I look forward to reading your future posts.

    ユタシク ウニゲーサビラ!

  2. I checked out your blog also and you are truely an impressive blogger! Thank You!