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.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Okinawa Memorial Day – Irei no Hi

With Memorial Day recently passing in the United States for its War Dead I thought it appropriate to post something on Okinawa's Irei no Hi, Okinawan Memorial Day. A Day where Okinawan's remember the people who died during the battle of Okinawa.

This year is the the 65th anniversary of the the battle. The anniversary of the end of the battle is marked every year in Okinawa with a ceremonial day called Irei no Hi (慰霊の日), a day of prayer for the 200,000+ people who died during the battle.

Here’s a report (in Japanese) from TBS that was posted about the event on the 63rd anniversary. It shows the survivors gathering to pray and their desire that future generations know that war is terrible and should be avoided:

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Okinawa, whose main island lies around 1,500 kilometers southwest of Tokyo, was the only inhabited part of Japan where ground fighting took place during World War II.

Ceremony participants offered a one-minute silent prayers and floral tributes at the peace park. Fukuda delivered a speech and said he “will make best efforts to realize an affluent livelihood for the Okinawa people” and “reduce their burden while listening to voices of their long-felt need.”

Gov. Nakaima read out an annual peace message offering condolences to the victims of the battle and renewing a pledge not to wage a war ever again.

During the ceremony, a 10-year-old primary school boy read a poem appealing for peace in the world.

“I wish happiness for all the people. So, I’d like to look at the world closely. I’d like to listen to the voices of the world. With gentle hands and with a warm mind,”

Eisuke Kano, a fourth-grader at Yomitan Elementary School.

Isn't it amazing how a pure mind can think!

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