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.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


While driving or walking through many of the tiny streets on Okinawa, you may notice a small, carved stone or placard set in walls outside many homes. Placed in discreet locations, these small objects -- called ishiganto -- are believed to ward off evil spirits. They are always positioned in the corner of a forked road or at the head of a T-shaped intersection due to the belief that if a spirit finds a house at an intersection, it is more inclined to enter the house than to make a turn. Because of the many winding roads on Okinawa, ishiganto turn up almost everywhere.

Ishiganto originated in eighth-century China and were brought to Okinawa sometime during the 15th century. Chinese legend has it that there was once a heroic man named Ishiganto who stood up to evil. Many people would often write his name in stone where their houses were located at intersections to ward off evil spirits. This tradition was carried on, and you can now find ishiganto on many streets on Okinawa.


  1. Konnichiwa! Hajimemashite. I stumbled across your blog while searching for information on the origin of the hidari gomon. I currently live in Oki (Camp Foster) and love it here! I thought you might like to know about another site called I have no connection to the site, official or otherwise, but it has become the #1 resource for Americans living over here for pretty much all things Okinawan. I enjoyed your site as well, and I'm sure I'll be back to read often. Arigato gozaimasu for putting your love of Okinawa out here for all to share!

  2. Hmm, I've tried to post a comment twice now and keep getting what I assume is an error message in Japanese. I've only learned the kana's so far and haven't progressed to kanji so I can't read it. Anyways, I'm going to try not posting this as "anonymous" and seeing if that makes a difference. Short version of what I've been trying to say is: you should check out another site called I think you'd enjoy it. (Wish me luck . . . )

  3. Actually, I went through but I have to moderate it by approving any comments before it will post. It probably said your comment is awaiting moderation. It's always good to put at least your first name as it lends more credance to your comments in the eyes of others. Thanks and please consider following by clicking on the follow link to the upper left.