The title of the book: “Thoughts Fly Far Away to the Homeland Okinawa”
The subtitle: “The Hundred-year History of Okinawan Settlers in the Metropolitan Area”
Its original title is “Okinawa-Omoi Haruka”
Interviewed by: Tomonobu Yara
Photographed, edited and layout-designed by: Katsufusa Arai
The Ryukyu Kingdom (Okinawa) was an independent kingdom that ruled most of the Ryukyu Islands from the 15th to the 19th century. The Kingdom played a central role in the maritime trade networks of medieval East and Southeast Asia. In those days, Maritime Okinawa people crossed the Ocean to far distance places in a small sail boat.
Many years later, in the beginning of 20th century, Okinawan people started to move to the new world, Naichi (Japan mainland). Now almost a century has passed since the first Okinawans (6) settled down in Yokohama for the first time.
This book contains the stories of Okinawan people who moved and settled down in Yokohama, Kawasaki and Tokyo areas. I interviewed some 21 Okinawans-each of different generations. Through the interviews, you will find how Okinawan people live in places far remote places from their homeland Okinawa.
As is well known most Okinawan people are superior in such entertainment skills as music and dancing. Therefore, rather many musicians are covered as the interviewees in this book, but we also interviewed people who run small restaurants, and proprietors of ethnic foodstuff shops.
Some interviewees talk about the difficulties they have experienced, others tell the stories of their success.
Below are the interviewees covered in this book:
・Takashi Hirayasu: Musician
・Yoshiyuki Kobashigawa: Brazil cuisine restaurant owner
・Takashi Higa: Representative of the association of people from Okinawa
・Yoshiko Naka: Traditional Okinawan stringed instrument