・Okinawa was originally an independent nation called “Ryuku” and was not part of Japan.
・There was “Kingdom of Ryuku”, which lasted for 450 years until 1879.
It was a maritime nation and had trading and diplomatic relationships with China, Japan, Korea and other South Eastern Asian countries. Kingdom of Ryuku was a small nation with the total population of 170,000.
“Shuri Castle “, which a number of tourists visit today was a symbol of the thriving of the Kingdom.
・People in Okinawa call the people from other areas in Japan “ Naicha” which, in Okinawa language, means “in lander”.
・People in Okinawa do not go swimming to the beach much. They would rather barbecue on the beach.
・During the summer time the sun sets around 20:00 in Okinawa because it is located so west of the mainland.
・Mimiga is Okinawan gourmet delicacy of pig ear and quite a common and popular
・Okinawa was the only place in Japan where the US and Japan fought the ground battle during World War II and over 150, 000 civilians were killed in the battle, which accounted for the 1/4 of the entire population of Okinawa. (The number of the victims of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima was 80,000.) This was the largest operation the US military took during World War II with 1,500 war ships and half a million troops. 20,000 US soldiers were dead during the operation.
・After World War II Okinawa was occupied by the USA until 1975. Until it was retuted to Japan in 1975 they drove on the right side of the road and used the UD dollars as currency. They needed passports to go to the mainland Japan.
・There is no railway trains in Okinawa.
・Karate, a martial art, originated in Okinawa. About 1.5 percent of the population of Okinawa are members of Japan Karatedo Federation and the rate is the highest among all prefectures in Japan. Many school children attend Dojo(martial arts gym) after school.
・There are 363 islands in Okinawa Prefecture.
・There several kinds of fruits, vegetables and plants that cannot be taken out of Okinawa to mainland Japan because of quarantine regulations.