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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.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Okinawa Times Article

As some of you may know I am a Okinawa Minkan Taishi (Okinawa Goodwill Ambassador). In this role I try to share all things Okinawa with anyone I meet. Recently I was contacted by a friend of mine named Teiko Tursi. She is the president of the New York Okinawa Kenjinkai and an active reporter for the Okinawa Times newspaper in Okinawa. She interviewed me as to my mission as a minkan Taishi and this past Monday an article appeared in the Okinawa Times about me. Here is the article she wrote.

The Okinawa Times 沖縄タイムス・ワールド通信ネット

2010年5月17日 (月)


自他ともに認める ウチナームーク のトーマス・コラオさん = アメリカ・シカゴ


 【てい子与那覇トゥーシー】沖縄の民間大使、トーマス・コラオさん(48)がシカゴ県人会の会報やウェブサイトを担当し、精力的に沖縄をアピールしている。トーマスさんは「世界中に、沖縄の豊かな歴史と文化、習慣、伝統を伝え、次世代に残していきたい」と情熱の原動力を語った。

 トーマスさんはウィスコンシン州、ケノーシャ市出身。米空軍に勤務していたとき、夫人の  のぞみさん(旧姓伊敷、糸満市出身)と出会い、1982年に沖縄で結婚した。沖縄に10年間滞在し、3人の子どもたちに恵まれた。

 長男(26)はトーマスさんや祖父と同じく米空軍の軍人、次男は(21)は消防学校へ通い消防士を目指している。長女(23)は大学生で文化人類学を専攻し、勉学に励んでいる。

 トーマスさん一家は 1998年から県人会に家族メンバーとして新年会などに参加。2002年に のぞみ夫人がパーランクーを始め、トーマスさんも本格的に沖縄の伝統文化を研究するようになった。

 08年3月に県から民間大使として認証を受け、広報やウェブサイトによる沖縄文化・歴史の発信に献身的に取り組み、最近はウチナーのシーミー(清明祭)や島マース(塩)などの文化、食について、多くの写真付きで丁寧につづった。

 沖縄を心から愛するトーマスさんは、沖縄をアピールすることについて「それが自分の使命。 自分はオープンなので(広報やサイトを)読む人たちから自由な意見が届くよう願っている」と 

My Wife's family was surprized to see the article and they said that It is special that a person outside of the mainstream can become so involved in the culture of Okinawa. The perspective they say is an inspiration to those who live in Okinawa who sometimes loose their focus on the things around them because they live it on a daily basis. I am happy to have friends and family that appreciate my efforts and will continue to promote Okinawa in any way I can. I would also like to thank Teiko for her efforts and taking the time to write about me in the paper. I truly appreciate her efforts as an Uchinanchu reporter. I am humbled by your interest in my efforts. Thank You all.

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