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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, December 29, 2010

It's almost 2011 the year of the Rabbit

According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit, which begins officially on February 3, 2011 and ends on January 22, 2012. The Rabbit is the fourth sign of the Chinese Zodiac, which consists of 12 animals signs. The Rabbit is a lucky sign. Rabbits are private individuals and a bit introverted. People born in the Year of the Rabbit are reasonably friendly individuals who enjoy the company of a group of good friends. They are good teachers, counselors and communicators, but also need their own space.

According to Chinese tradition, the Rabbit brings a year in which you can catch your breath and calm your nerves. It is a time for negotiation. Don't try to force issues, because if you do you will ultimately fail. To gain the greatest benefits from this time, focus on home, family, security, diplomacy, and your relationships with women and children. Make it a goal to create a safe, peaceful lifestyle, so you will be able to calmly deal with any problem that may arise.

Okinawa of course has been greatly influenced by the Chinese culture and adopted the lunar calendar long ago. Here is a video I found on the Okinawa Times Youtube site about a couple, Miyagi Morio (32) Kyoko (35) his wife, who live in Okinawa and make traditional Bingata animals each year to symbolize the year of the Chinese zodiac. The video is actually from December 15, 2010. The couples bingata workshop is called the "Red Mamoru" and is located in Itoman. Every year the couple produces thirty palm-sized stuffed animals made from traditional bingata cloth which are filled with salt. The unique pattern of the Bingata's colorful design gives the amulets depth, texture and expresses the loveliness of the zodiac rabbit. This year the couple worked extra hard on their creations which sold out in just 40 minutes.

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