One of the most beautiful beaches in Japan, Okinawa! It’s famous for its beautiful scenery, like Hawaii or Bali. A perfect place to have a little vacation with your loved ones, family, friends, or even solo backpacker. Okinawan people are well-known for their friendliness which is perfect for traveling!
This is the one and only Okinawa, irreplaceable! Unique as it is and loved by many people. Here are some facts that you need to know about Okinawa.
History of Okinawa
Okinawa once was an independent country ruled by the Ryukyu Kingdom and flourished through trade with China as well as other neighboring countries. In 1609, Ryukyu became a part of Japan’s shogunate system. It became a prefecture of Japan due to the Abolition of the Han System and the Establishment of the Prefecture System, which occurred in 1879.
What makes it unique is Okinawa ever under the administrations of the United States. It has happened after the Pacific War, World War II. But in 1972, it was returned to the Japanese administrations up until now.
Influence of the United States, Japan, and Chinese
Okinawa has been under the United States & Japan administrations naturally will greatly influence their place. One of them is they have a lot of festivals! The festivals range in variety, such as festivals for welcoming the spirits of the ancestor, festivals for wishing a good harvest & abundant fish catches, festivals for keeping away plagues, Naha Great Tug-of-War Festivals, and Eisa Festivals.
Food included! They get influenced both by Japan and the United States. Don’t be shocked if you can’t find sushi on the menu, you are more likely to find pork. Okinawa’s Soba noodles are made with wheat instead of buckwheat. And you will find a lot of taco rice in here, thank the Americans.
Okinawan Food Philosophy (And It is so Lovely!)
Fun fact, Okinawa is one of the world’s leaders in longevity! Their secrets are the warm climate, the easy-going personalities of the locals, and the spirit of “yumaru” (it means helping one another). The locals using available ingredients in the harsh natural environment of the subtropical islands. Their cooking technique doesn’t require overly processed cooking.
Ishoku dōgen (医食同源) – “Food is Medicine”
Besides that, Okinawan people hold the idea of “healthy diet, healthy body” widely. They believe that medical treatment and daily diet together support human life and protect our health, and both have the same source. Two main points of the idea are “Kusuimun” (food that acts as a medicine) and “Nuchigusui” (medicine of life).
Uniquely, Okinawa (and I’m in Love with It!)
Here are some little facts about Okinawa. Knowing the story of Okinawa surely makes you feel closer to Okinawa. Not just the scenery that is beautiful, but Okinawan people, culture, and their story are equally beautiful and uniquely theirs 💙