The recent discovery of ancient coins at Katsuren Castle in Uruma, Okinawa shows that the Ryukyu Kingdom was a vital part of international trade between Asia and the West.
The coins date as early as the third century during the time of Constantine I, the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity, to the Ottoman Empire of the seventeenth century.
Katsuren Castle was built by the Aji (Lord) of Katsuren, Amawari (d. 1458). Through maritime trade Amawari acquired considerable wealth and power. He married Momotofumi Agari, the daughter of King Sho Taikyu (reigned 1454-1460), further solidifying his power. In 1458, the King, discovering Amawari’s treachery, led an attack on Katsuren castle and killed him. Today the ruins of Katsuren Castle is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
In the past the Ryukyu Kingdom was an important entrepôt (center of trade) much like present day Singapore. An awareness of our Uchinanchu history helps us to escape the present day nationalist narrative which depict Okinawa as one of the poorer prefectures lying on the edge of Japan and instead envision an Okinawa thriving under conditions of greater political and economic independence.
“Ancient Roman coins unearthed from castle ruins in Okinawa.” Japan Times 26 September 2016.
Group photo – Uchinanchu Talk Story VI at East-West Center, 24 July 2016
UTS VI “U.S. Bases in Okinawa — Three Years Later” was a great success! Mahalo to those who came and participated! And Mahalo to those who helped make this happen!
We now have the photographs of the symposium and uploaded them on this website.
A new page has been added to the navigation bar at the top of the home page. Look for the tab “UTS VI–Photos” on the bottom row. Click here to visit the page.
Thank you to all those who have signed up for Uchinanchu Talk Story VI!
As of Friday, 22 July 2016, we have reached the maximum capacity for the East-West Center’s Imin Conference Center. We will not be accepting any walk-in applications.
Things are heating up as mainland Japan police force arrest local Okinawan protestors. Below are some pictures of a confrontation that took place on 22 July 2016. This is happening in Okinawa as we prepare for Uchinanchu Talk Story VI in Hawaii to discuss the current situation in Okinawa, our ancestral homeland.
Translation: People sitting on prefectural road scuffling with JRP near US Military NTA, photographed by Toyokzau Tsumura; Higashi Village, July 22, 2016, 0638am
Translation: Japanese Riot Police (JRP) fortifies prefectural road near US Military Northern Training Area (NTA), photographed by Toyokzau Tsumura; Higashi Village, July 22, 2016, 0602am
Translation: People sitting on prefectural road being carried out by JRP near US Military NTA, photographed by Toyokzau Tsumura; Higashi Village, July 22, 2016, 0551am
Imin Center – East-West Center – July 24
We are almost at capacity for Uchinanchu Talk Story VI on 24 July 2016. There are a few more seats left as of today (22 July 2016).
Those interested in attending are urged to fill in the Registration Form and submit them to either John Tasato or Ed Kuba.
In preparation for Uchinanchu Talk Story VI a new page “Okinawa and Security Issues” has been created. Please click here.
This page is intended to complement the page “Three Years After UTS IIII — What Happened?” which focuses on recent developments within Okinawa since 2013.
People who plan to participate in the upcoming symposium are encouraged to visit these pages and to read the links to news articles and documents in order to be well informed on the issues surrounding the US bases in Okinawa.
New Page Added
Getting the facts is crucial to democratic participation and for scholarly analyses. In preparation for the upcoming Uchinanchu Talk Story VI (UTS VI) on 24 July 2016, a new page — UTS VI – Documents & Resources — has been created that has links to official documents relating to the US bases in Okinawa. Please look at the far left side of the navigation bar.
For example, on 16 July 2016, Truth-Out.org published an article critical of the way US Marine Corps training video explain Okinawan views and cultures to service personnel who will be stationed in Okinawa. A PDF of the slide presentation has been published on the Internet. We made a copy of it and embedded it into the link below. We urge our readers to view the official documents for themselves and get the facts directly.
As of 16 July 2016, two official documents have been listed in the tab UTS VI – Documents & Resources:
US Marines’ Okinawa Culture Orientation Presentation
Status of Forces Agreement (1960)
As way of preparing for the upcoming Uchinanchu Talk Story VI, a new page was created that lists events that have taken place since UTS III. It is meant to give people attending Talk Story VI some background on the issues surrounding the US bases in Okinawa.
Here’s the link to the new page “UTS VI” in the far right tab of the webpage banner.
And, don’t forget to register for UTS VI!
Registration form can be found in the July 5 article “Uchinanchu Talk Story VI – 2016.”
U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa — Three Years Later
Announcement Flyer & Registration Form
To Register Please Click & Fill Out > Registration.170706 & Send to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or mail to: WUB Hawaii, P.O. Box 31048, Hon HI 96820