Tag Archives: 2012

Emperor Akihito visits Kume Island

On November 20, 2012 The Emperor of Japan Akihito and Empress Michiko visited Kumejima as part of a four-day visit to Okinawa.  Preparations were long in the making, but it was still extraordinary to see the spectacle of a visit lasting less than 5 hours.  Luckily, I was asked to help photograph on behalf of Kumejima Town and was able to stand with television and newspaper camera people in designated media areas. The Emperor and his wife arrived around 10:30 JST

Churaumi Aquarium Okinawa

Churaumi Aquarium (美ら海 beautiful ocean aquarium) is one of the premiere tourist attractions in Okinawa prefecture.  The large aquarium is located within the even larger and interesting Ocean Expo Park on the Motobu Peninsula.  Boasting one of the worlds largest indoor tanks, the stars of the complex are three whale sharks housed with many other fish of varying sizes. Though I’ve lived in Okinawa for over five years, I had my first opportunity to visit Churaumi only this past weekend.  The

2012 Kumejima Marathon Photos

平成24年 久米島マラソン写真 ミーフガーの方 Below are photos from the 2012 Kumejima Marathon which took place on October 28, 2012.  I was asked to take pictures by the local town government, so these aren’t edited for content.  Instead, there are pictures for just about everyone in the full race.  Since there are so many, I’ve shrunken them down.  If you would like a full size copy of a picture you can email me with a request. Please include the photo file number.  Only individuals

2012 Kitadaito Festival Day 1

Every year on September 22 and 23 Kitadaito Village celebrates its largest Festival.  These dates mark the beginning of autumn.  Kitadaito also known as north Borodino island is a place of 12sq kilometers 320 kilometers east of the Okinawan mainland.  It is unique in that it was settled by residents of Hachijo Island (near Tokyo) but is part of Okinawa Prefecture.  Over the past 100 years the island has become a unique chanpuru (mix) of both cultures. After graduating from

2012 Kyubon Eisa

This past week was the Kyureki Calendar based obon festival in Okinawa.  On Kumejima, I was able to attend the Gima and Higa festivals which both took place at the same time, on the second day of kyubon.  I found it extremely interesting how different the two festivals were, even though they are on the same small island.  Just as every family that celebrates Christmas does it in slightly different ways, so too, do different families and even neighborhoods celebrate

Typhoon 1215

This weekend Typhoon 1215 is hitting with a lot of force.  You can check out the path and information in English on the Japanese Meteorological Administration’s website. It’s interesting for me how many natural disasters Japan is prone to.  Mainland Japan gets a few every year, and even more in the south around Okinawa.  Most of the time, typhoons aren’t a big deal because buildings here are meant to withstand earthquakes and strong winds.  The yellow circle in the picture above

Schedule for the 2012 Kumejima Festival

The Kume Island Festival is the largest matsuriof the year. It is a two day event that takes place in August and as with most Japanese festivals, is a time for celebration and thanksgiving. On Kume Island, the festival has developed into a huge mix of food, entertainment, and fun. When **Update** Due to Typhoon 9 the Kume Festival has been postponed until August 11/12. For 2012, the Kume Festival is scheduled for August 4th and 5th. Saturday: 5p.m. to

2012 Tanabata at School

July 7th is Tanabata in Japan.  It marks the day when two stars are at their closest, yet never meet.  From the astronomical phenomena, stories and tales have developed around the pair, telling that they are lovers ever divided. While there is no official holiday, Tanabata is a fun day that many groups take advantage of for bbq and other get togethers. Most school staffs usually plan a Tanabata party of some kind or another to mark the event. As

School Lunch in Japan May 24 – Jun 1

Thursday May 24 Milk, chahan, lotus root steamed dumpling, vegetable soup Oh chahan, you can never go wrong with chahan.   A delicious mix of rice, fried pork, egg, and vegetables all in one dish.  Along side, we had two lotus blossom meat steamed dumplings (a mouth full for sure!) and a hearty Chinese vegetable soup with chingensai, pork, carrot, and mushroom, and more. This type of meal reflects the strong Chinese influence in the Okinawan islands.  A local fusion

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