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, November 17, 2010

Grits & Sushi Blog Project

The Okinawa I imagined was scarred.  I imagined my mother as a child walking through a war torn place, over the dead bodies she saw during the bloody battle of Okinawa in WWII.  I recreated the nightmares she might have had.  (I never forget, those dead bodies. I never forget the sound of the planes flying above us, screaming, the Japanese soldiers pointing their guns at us, the doo doo smell in the caves where we hid from the Americans…)

These are powerful memories taken from a blog authored by one of my newest hafu Afro-Okinawan friends Mitzi Uehara Carter. She is a PhD candidate in the Anthropology Dept at the University of California Berkeley. She is currently working on her dissertation which is on the the US military in Okinawa--mapping race, military diaspora/culture in Okinawa.

She is also working on a side project, helping her mother to form a network of Okinawan women now living in the US who are/were married or in long-term relationships with Black men. The goal is to unite these women who may, like her mother, feel socially stigmatized by other Okinawans or Japanese for being in relationships with black men. Many of these women, especially of my mother's generation do not attend Kenjinkai meetings because they feel somewhat like outcasts. For those who feel comfortable, we hope they will share their stories (anonymously or not) to be documented into a booklet to be distributed to the other women in the network.

Here are some movies she writes about on her blog. Please visit Grits & Sushi to see what she has to say about them.

Seven courageous women who live alongside US bases from South Korea to Puerto Rico challenge the assumption that military bases make them safe, and advance alternative ideas of peace and security.

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