Birthplace of Shorin-Ryu,
Matsubayashi-Ryu Karate-Do


Other than China no one country has had more influence on the development of the martial arts than has Okinawa. The following links are designed only to skim the surface of factors such as language, religion, history and culture, that make Okinawa the unique place it is.

The Okinawan king, Sho Hashi, unified the Ryukyu Kingdom, with Okinawa as its seat of power, in 1429 (63 years before Columbus discovered the Americas). As a kingdom, the Ryukyu kings received their titles directly from the emperors of China. This did not denote subservience to China it was simply that China was the center of all political power in the far east at that time. There were a total of 22 Okinawan coronation ceremonies over a period of 500 years from the late 14th century until the 19th century.

At their height, the Okinawan people were renowned seafaring traders. Their trading routes include such (then) far away locations as the Phillipines, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. Rather impressive for a kingdom whose population totaled only 100,000 in the 16th century.

Okinawa remained an independent, prosperous kingdom before being conquered by the Japanese Shimazu clan in 1602. in 1609 the Ryukyu islands were "given" to the Satsuma under the Shimazu clan. The proud Ryukyu Kingdom would never again be free and independent.

Under Japanese rule every attempt was made to dismantle Okinawan heritage and culture Okinawan to bring the islands more "in-line" with their Japanese occupiers. The Okinawan language and dialects were basically outlawed. When children spoke Hogen in schools they were forced to wear a placard around their neck known as a "Hogen-fuda" (dialect disgrace tag). This practice continued until the 1960's.

  "Roughly speaking, modern Okinawa has gone through the process of unification and assimilation into Japan's imperialist system. It was subjected to a system of indoctrination in which the local culture and people's thinking were forcibly changed into an ideology based on loyalty to the Emperor and the fatherland. The Battle of Okinawa was an extreme manifestation of kominka (subjugation to the Emperor system). At the same time, attempts at assimilation brought about open prejudice and discrimination directed toward native Okinawans. More than 90 days of the heavy bombardment called "the iron storm" looked as if they would completely annihilate Okinawa itself. Notwithstanding the devastation of the battle, the people of Okinawa courageously rose out of the ashes of the ruins and proved that they would not perish."

(Okinawa-ken-shi 1. Tsushi [An Outline History of Okinawa Prefecture]
cited in Arasaki's Profile of Okinawa: 100 Questions and Answers)

During WWII many Okinawans were forcible drafted into the Imperial Japanese Armies. This draft resulted in many Americans believing Okinawans and Japanese were one people; they are not. At the same time, during the battle for Okinawa, the Japanese military delcared anyone speaking the traditional Okinawan language would be regarded as a spy.

Following WWII Okinawa was under the protection of the United States. In the 1970's it was returned to the control of Japan.

Okinawa IS NOT a part of Japan although Japan claims it as a prefecture (similar to how Saddam Hussain claimed Kuwait). Okinawan people are a proud people with a rich culture and their own language. Over the centuries they have made several important contributions to the world.

Recommendations for additions to this page (especially language) are welcome and even solicited. At the same time no portion of any of this material has been knowingly stolen or the author(s) not given credit. Again, if you become aware of either please let the webmaster know and it will be corrected as soon as possible.


Wonder Okinawa Official Prefecture Page

FAQ and Facts About Okinawa

Uchina Guchi - The Language of Okinawa

A Brief History of Okinawa

The Symbol of Okinawa

The Money of Okinawa

The Yakuza (Japanese Mafia)

The Yakuza Part 2 - .PDF File From Bizarre Magazine, February 2012 (Visit - WARNING "MATURE" site)

Kadena Air Force Base

Torii Station

Torii Station Spook Page

Archives of Ryukyuanist Newsletter Okinawan Peace Network of Los Angeles

A Brief History of the Uchinanchu (Okinawans) Okinawan Peace Network of Los Angeles

Okinawan News at Japan Update

Okinawan Karate News

Okinawan Tourist Information

Thesis on the importance of keeping the Okinawan Langauage alive

New York Times Okinawans Protest Japanís Plan to Revise Bitter Chapter of World War II

San Francisco Chronicle: Japan's textbook case of revisionist history

New York Times: Okinawa Suicides and Japan's Army: Burying the Truth? Japan Says Some Okinawans Died Under Army Orders During Wartime

. . . .

E-mail comments Here! .