Okinawa - The multi-culture archipelago

In today's article we will get to know the Okinawa archipelago (沖縄県) and its cultures very different from the rest of Japan. This archipelago is located and extends from southern Japan to Taiwan with a total of 169 islands.

Okinawa's History

Until the 19th century, Okinawa was known as the Ryukyu Islands, an independent kingdom from Japan. Thus it developed not only a language, but a culture of its own. 

After the end of World War II, Okinawa continued to be administered by the United States for another 27 years, in 1972 it was returned to the Japanese administration.

The archipelago is subdivided into three smaller groups of islands: Miyako, Yaeyama and Okinawa-shi where the capital Naha is located. Each of them has distinct architecture and variations in the language itself.

Naha is the capital city of Okinawa-shi, with an estimated 320,000 inhabitants, and is the largest prefecture in Okinawa-ken. There are two groups from Yakuza, the largest of which is "Okinawa Kyokuryu-kai".

Okinawa culture

Tanabata, also known as the neutral day, for Okinawans is the proper day for cleaning tombs and butsudans (family altars) so that negative energy is not contagious. According to tradition, the family clears the tombs, as a sign to their ancestors that Obon is approaching.

The Obon it is a kind of death where families come together paying homage to their ancestors. It is believed that on that day the spirits return to Earth to visit their loved ones.

Eisa (エイサー) is a dance originating from Buddhist chants and prayers accompanied by melodies. They are played through Taiko (drums) in honor of ancestral spirits.

Okinawa - the archipelago of multi culture

Sanshin (三振) musical instrument composed of three strings with an acoustic box covered with snake leather. The instrument is believed to be over 4000 years old and its creation is told through the Akainku Legend.


Highlights of Okinawa

Shuri Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Okinawa-shi, has the second largest aquarium in the world and features some shops and restaurants so that you can optimize your time without having to leave to buy food or anything that is necessary, on the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium website you can access different types of guides, maps and information.

Okinawa - the archipelago of multi culture

Another tourist spot is Okinawa World, where you can find plants, handicrafts, animals, food, and several typical presentations.

Okinawa-ken it has about 1800 hotels, and are very popular due to its white sand beaches and the water color that vary from crystalline blue to turquoise and also to see the fireworks celebrating the new year, as it is not a place that presents much pollution.

Okinawa - the archipelago of multi culture

 The village of Zanami, for the reception of travelers, near Naha.

Shisa are images of Chinese origin, used as amulets scattered throughout the city, it is believed that by placing a Shisa on top of the roofs, it protects the houses from natural accidents.

Okinawa - the archipelago of multi culture

Okinawa is located in a temperate climate area, so many sugarcane, pineapple, banana, guava, jaboticaba and fruits such as dragon fruit and mangastin are grown. So for those who are, or are going to travel to Japan and would like to kill some food they eat here in Brazil, Okinawa is a great choice ..

Okinawa - the archipelago of multi culture

There is much more to be explored in this paradise. A land of singers like Gackt and Amuro Namie, also from the group Da Pump and the band Begin. Today I end here, thank you very much, Gabriel.

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