Tag Archives: culture

2015 Gasashi Wakachara Kumiodori on Kumejima

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It’s been quite a while since I’ve written here on morethingsjapanese.com.  While I expect most of my regular readers have since moved on, I’m still alive and kicking here on Kumejima. Work and married life have taken up most of the free time I used to operate this blog over the last five years. Still, when I find a chance, I’ll use it to add a post and a picture or two (or 37). The other day students on Kume Island

Japanese Houses

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Japan’s unique history has led to culture that is not surprisingly unique in the world. In Japan, natural disasters and local weather has led to housing adapted for the resources and needs of the people. While new materials have been included in modern building, many of the aesthetics developed for traditional housing are still carried into the modern age. Since a lot of Japanese culture revolves around the home, this post will be a base for many others in the

Amegoui – Prayers for Rain

Since the end of the rainy season early this year, the weather on Kume Island has been full of clear sunny days.  While it makes for great sight-seeing and beach-going, it has been a hard year for farmers, with little or no rain to sustain critical crops.  For the first time in 15 years, the island locals returned to their roots, asking for the help of the Chinbei, the name of the high priestess from the old Ryukyu Kingdom to

Nakasato Elementary Exchange (Winter) Part 2

This is the second part of this post.  Checkout the first part too!  Don’t miss the video at the end. Every winter fourteen fifth grade elementary students from Kume Island’s 6 elementary schools travel to Toakamachi.  In the summer, a group of Tokamachi students from 3 elementary schools return to visit Okinawa.  In 2013, I was invited along as one of Kumejima’s representatives (read cameraman).  I live-tweeted the event and you can catch a record of the trip here (I know, strange title but

Okinawan Black Sugar Candy – Kokuto

Okinawa has its own history and culture, which is reflected in the foods you’ll find here. Since Okinawa is so far to the south, you will also find that many of the fields are filled with satokibi, or sugarcane. It might not surprise you then that one of Okinawa’s local treats is a kind of Black Sugar candy made directly from the juice of sugar cane plants.  The name of the treat comes from the kanji symbols for black and

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