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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, January 26, 2011

Okinawan Poetry

Okinawan people have had many poems that are just as beautiful as those of "Manyoshu" the greatest anthology of Japanese poetry. They are the basis for many famous folk songs in the Ryukyu islands. Here are some examples taken from a book that was given to me by my sister in law. The book is called "For Appreciating Okinawan Poems or Folk Songs." The book was written by Saburo Isa and published in 1976.

Tin nu       buribusi ya
Yumiba     yumarisiga
Uya nu      yusigutu ya
Yumi nu    nara n

So numerous are the stars in the sky
Yet countable they are.
How innumerable the precepts,
of the parents are!

A Video featuring the Original Okinawan Night Light.

Agari              aku gariba
Simi narega   i chu n
Kasira            yuti tabori
Wa u ya         Ganasi

When dawn breaks in the east,
It's just the time for me
To go on learning.
Oh, dear mother help me
To arrange my hair.

The people of Okinawa have had a great many poems that have been familiar and popular to all Okinawans throughout many generations. Each of them has their own music which incorporates sweet and facinating melodies. This makes them popular to sing to the accompaniment of the sanshin. Many years ago when there were no electric lights in the islands the young men and women of the islands would gather under the moonlight to dance and sing. It was only a natural process that the created so many poems and folk songs.

In the coming year I plan to add the translations to various Okinawan poems and folk songs to the front page of the blog. I've searched the web and apparently these poems and folk songs are relatively hard to find. Therefore I will share the ones I have.

To be continued...
For appreciating Okinawan poems or folk songs =: Eiwa ryūka kanshō

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