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2014 Kume Island Folk Song Competition

This past Saturday on Kume Island was the 5th annual Folk Song Competition (古典民謡大会). Music is one of the keys to maintaining tradition and culture. Encouraging people to not only listen but create music helps keep local culture alive. Sponsored by the local Board of Education, this year’s event has grown to include competitors from around Japan and even the world. Participants register in advance for this competition, choosing one of 3 songs. With only one chance at their performance

Upcoming Event in Okinawa

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If you’ve been checking in on More Things Japanese over the past month and noticed there haven’t been many posts… It’s because I took a bit of time off to work. With a few special projects I haven’t had the time it takes to edit photos, write, and create quality blog posts. I should be able to get back to sharing more of Japan with you very soon. In the mean time, I want to share some information about a

Kite Surfing Hateno Beach

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One of the great attractions of Kume Island is the amazing white sand beaches, especially the chain of offshore sandbars known collectively as Hateno-hama. Just before Typhoon 1408 hit I had another chance to visit the beach with this year’s Nakasato Exchange. While the students were swimming and playing on the Nakano sandbar, I spotted a few kite surfers enjoying the mild winds and surf on Meenu Beach. Though I’ve never kite surfed, it was an amazing chance to get

Baby Blue Rock Thrush

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One of the most prolific birds on Kume Island is the blue rock thrush. It’s a loud yet interesting species of bird that I’ve managed some decent photos of in the past. This time around I had a unique chance to get up-close and personal with a baby blue rock thrush (while being careful not to interfere. My gopro helped me out with that). One morning we woke to a chirping and rainstorm. The source was the baby bird, stuck