Tag Archives: Okinawa

Upcoming Event in Okinawa

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

8 Winds Garden Restaurant

During my mother’s visit to Okinawa we spent a few days on the Okinawa mainland where a friend of mine showed us some of the local sites. One of those sights was on the cliffs of Nanjo city in the south-east of the island. High above the ocean sits a set of rustic buildings and an amazing view. The place our guides suggested for lunch was the Eight Winds Garden (八風畑) Restaurant and Kokuto factory. Built around the black sugar

2013 Kanegusuku Festival and Shishimai

Every few years at the largest full moon of the year there is a small festival in the Kanegusuku area of Kume Island.  As with many events in Okinawa, the date of the event is based on the kyureki (lunar) calendar.  While this means that the event is on a different day each year, the lunar timing means that the event always takes place at a full moon.  In this case, August 15th of the kyureki calendar. This particular festival

Two Summer Endings – The Last Sports Festivals

On Kume Island, the first semester of school is over and students are on summer vacation.  For two of those schools it is the very last summer they will be open.  Due to rural depopulation both schools will close, with a ‘new’ school opening next April.  The unfortunate thing about the schools’ closing is the chance that local traditions and culture will be lost.  On this ancient island, each area has its own traditions that have become entwined with school

Fu Chanpuru Recipe

After nearly five years living in Okinawa, my favorite food is still Fu Chanpuru.  While it might sound like part of a martial art, Fu is actually wheat gluten (so steer clear gluten intolerant people… sorry! you’re missing out).  In Okinawa, you can buy Fu in packages, either in long roles, or in more compact forms.  Fu is baked and dry, so you will have to hydrate it before use. Ingredients 72g Fu- gluten 1 carrot cut into thin slices

The Threat of Rural Depopulation in Japan

As the weather starts to warm throughout Japan, sakura blossoms mark the beginning of a new season, yet they are a temporary beauty that fades quickly. On Kumejima, three schools welcomed new classes of first-year students. Like the sakura that decorate the classrooms, this year marks a period of transition. For two of those schools, it is their last School Entrance Ceremony. After this year, both schools will close. Just ten years ago, the population of Kumejima was nearly 10,000

KumeGuide.com

Since I moved to Kumejima in Okinawa almost two years ago, I’ve been working on an English Language guide to the island.  It’s a work in progress as I’ve juggled this blog, writing my novels, and teaching, but I came across this picture that I had to share.  It’s a mini pineapple from the Akamine Pineapple Gardens on Kumejima.  Though its only about an inch long it looks like a perfect pineapple.

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

Industrial Fairs (sangyo matsuri)

The industrial Fair, or sangyo matsuri in Japanese, is a fixture in the annual event calendar on my island.  From the English translation you might think of cars, heavy manufacturing, and other well-known industry.  In Japan, though, many products are made by very small local companies rather than in large factories.  Even when big factories are necessary, there are often many small shops acting as suppliers.  Taken to a further level, small rural communities without those major industries often have

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