Okinawa is ichiban!

okinawa is ichiban!
Some Interesting Tidbits that Make Okinawa Unique
(from Okinawa Magazine, published by the Okinawa Prefectural Government
and the Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau)
the jewel in the pacific:

Okinawa is ichiban!  The word ichiban means "#1" in Japanese.  There are many things about Okinawa that make it unique, here are a few of them.

Iriomote WildcatIriomote Wildcat
Although  many animals, living on the Asian Continent when Okinawa was a part of it, have been extinct, some animals have survived and evolved on the subtropical islands of Okinawa.  Many rare species such as the Iriomote Wildcat, Yanbaru Kuina, and Yanbaru Tenagakogane are only seen on Okinawa.

KarateOkinawan Karate
It is said that Karate is the mix of "Ti," the Ryukyuan (Okinawan) traditional fighting art, and "Kenpo," the Kung Fu traditional fighting art of China.  Karate was developed in Okinawa.  When it was introduced to mainland Japan, they called it Karate meaning "empty hand."  Karate has spread through the world after World War II.  Okinawa is known as the root of Karate.  Many people from all over the world come to Okinawa to train; and, international competitions are often held in Okinawa.

tsunahikiBiggest Rope in the World!
The Naha Great Tug of War is the main even of the Naha Festival held every year on October 10.  Thousands of people compete pulling the giant rope which is hand-made every year.  Recently, the rope has measured 186 meters (over 560 feet) in length and weighed over 40 tons.  The Guinness Book of World Records recognized it as the biggest rope in the world.

LongevityThe Longevity of Okinawans Ranks #1 in the World!
Japanese longevity for both men and women ranks first in the world; and among Japanese prefectures, Okinawa ranks on the top.  In Okinawa, the number of people living more than 100 years per capita also ranks first in Japan.  The reason for Okinawas' longevity are considered to be a healthy diet, mild climate and a less stressful society.