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, September 7, 2010

"Sugar" an Art Exhibition by Uchinanchu Artist Laura Kina

Laura Kina received her MFA Studio Art from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is an Associate Professor of Art, Media, and Design and distinguished Vincent de Paul Professor at DePaul University. Born in Riverside, California to an Okinawan father from Hawaii and a Spanish-Basque/Anglo mother, Kina was raised in a small Norwegian town in the Pacific Northwest. The artist currently lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. Her work has shown nationally and internationally, most recently in New Delhi and Mumbai, India, and is represented in Miami, FL by Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts.     

Laura Kina "Cane Fire" Oil on canvas 30 x 45 in. 2010
   About the Work

Set during the 1920’s-1940’s, Laura Kina’s SUGAR paintings recall obake ghost stories and feature Japanese and Okinawan picture brides turned machete carrying sugar cane plantation field laborers on the Big Island of Hawaii. Drawing on oral history and family photographs from Nisei (2nd generation) and Sansei (3rd generation) from Peepekeo, Pi’ihonua, and Hakalau plantation community members as well as historic images, Kina’s paintings take us into a beautiful yet grueling world of manual labor, cane field fires, and flumes.
Laura Kina "Oban" Oil on canvas 30 x 45 in. 2010

Kasuri (2010) oil on wood panel 30 x 45 inches
Laura Kina "Okinawan Tattoo #1" Oil on wood panel 12 x 12 in. 2010

The exhibition starts Friday at the Woman Made Gallery. Please remember this is a great opportunity to view Uchinanchu Art right here in our hometown. Online viewing does not equal the experience of visiting the Woman Made Gallery in-person so I urge each and every one of you to visit the display to view the actual artwork on display. However, If you can't attend Woman Made Gallery has posted some of the works on their website to share with supporters from all around the world these artistic expressions.

Woman Made Gallery

685 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Chicago, IL 60642-8000

Phone: (312) 738-0400

Fax: (312) 738-0404

September 10 - October 28, 2010

Gallery Hours:

Wed., Thurs., Fri. noon to 7pm

Sat. & Sun. noon to 4pm

For more information visit

I hope to visit on Friday evening. Maybe I will see you there!

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