Ryukyu Golden Kings wins Japan-BJ League

Drawing audiences totaling 9402 people, Basketball Japan League (known as the BJ League) playoff finals took place on the 20th at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo. Ryukyu Golden Kings (Okinawa) defeated Higashi-Mikawa Phoenix (Hamamatsu) 89 - 73. This is the Golden Kings' second time winning the title since 2009.

Cherry Blossoms in Okinawa

Hanami (literary meaning "flower viewing") is one of the most popular Japanese traditional customs practiced, starting when cherry blossoms bloom in March or April. People come together to sit under the cherry blossoms trees, have picnics, and get a little buzzed. It's one of my favorite times of the year in Japan, but in Okinawa, hanami starts in January/February since the cherry blossoms bloom earlier. These photos were provided in courtesy of a relative, so please do not steal them, but I hope you enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms.

unmei no hito

The drama, based on Toyoko Yamazaki's novel, illustrates the fate of journalist Ryota Yuminari as he unfolds the truth behind the revision of Okinawa. For more information, visit Tokyo Broadcasting System Television's official website: http://www.tbs.co.jp/eng/nowshowing/index.html In the last episode (which aired on 3/18/2012 in Japan), 80% of the film location was in Okinawa. Some of the locations include: Mae Misaki in Onnason, Nuchishinujigama, Park Avenue/B.C. Street, Kakazu Takadai Kouen, etc.

Made in Okinawa

I have been browsing to find out about the Okinawan fashion scene lately, and I came across this website: madeinokinawa.com They are a group of creators, not limited to fashion but music and art as well, that embrace traditional techniques, originality, and the stories behind the locally made items. madeinokinawa also collaborates with creators from around the world (namely Europe and Asia... and it seems they've also got an atelier in France, which is cool!) you can window shop online through the webshop, and I find this bingata one-piece dress very attractive...! http://madeinokinawa.shop-pro.jp/?pid=23855509

Unfinished magatama discovered in ruins of Goeku Castle

On January 16th, the Okinawa Municipal Museum announced its discovey of magatama (a comma-shaped bead) in the ruins of Goeku Castle, where King Sho Taikyu of the Ryukyu Kingdom ruled during the 15th century. This 5cm stone-made magatama is considered very rare because the center hole is missing, indicating that this piece is still unfinished. Found in the 12th to 14th century stratum, experts believe Noros (women priests) wore them during religious rituals. http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/article_photo/45304/

Okinawa Oden

Winter is here, and tis the season to crave for oden in Japan. Boiled eggs, daikon radish, potatoes, devil's tongue, and fish cakes soaked with soy-based dashi broth bring smiles to people's faces across the country. Regional variations exist, but Okinawa oden is its own kind. Okinawa oden's main ingredient is tebichi (or pig's feet). If pig's feet sounds somewhat unappealing, remember about the collagen in it which softens your skin and helps prevent spots and wrinkles on your face (not to mention it's also very delicious). Okinawa oden differs from mainland Japan because it also includes green veggies such as lettuce, bok choy, spinach, and Chinese water spinach. Here is a link (in Japanese) to stores in Okinawa that serves oden: http://r.tabelog.com/RC010801/okinawa/

Ryujin Mabuyer – The Okinawan Super Hero

There are many superheroes in Japan, like Ultraman, but check this out... Ryujin Mabuyer, an Okinawan based superhero, to the rescue! He is to protect the Mabui Stones from the evil Majimun gang along with his pals, Ryujin Ganasea and Ohjin Kanamie. Ryujin Mabuyer is special not only because it is produced in Okinawa, but it celebrates Okinawan culture, religion, and nature within the content of the show also. The show includes uchinaguchi from time to time, helping children learn what words like agagaga! or chaaganjyuu mean. The popularity of Ryujin Mabuyer is beyond being a local superhero but becoming an icon for Okinawa. What a great program for Okinawan kids to grow up on! On Ryukyu Broadcasting Company every Saturday @ 10:25AM Learn more about Ryujin Mabuyer Here: www.mabuyer.com/ There's also an English website! Lovely: http://www.mabuyer.com/en/

Itokazu and supporters take down the LDP

Itokazu won a victory in the upper house elections, Sunday, July 29th.  All over Japan, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) incumbent’s suffered defeat after defeat.  This can be seen as a barometer of public sentiment, against the ruling party and especially their leader, Prime Minister Abe.  National issues plaguing the LDP include a decades old recession, the LDP’s push to amend the Macarthur inspired, Post WWII Japanese constitution to allow for more ‘offensive’ postures to participate in the global war on terror.  To top this off, various scandals continue to surface throughout government, even a number of Abe’s own cabinet ministers have had forced resignations as well as one suicide.


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