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Last Update: September 7, 2012


Katsuren Castle Lord’s C15th Plot

One of the three best known castles in Okinawa, Katsuren, has been given World Heritage status by UNESCO. We continue our series looking at each of the nine sites.   Read More!

Coming of Age Day Honors 20 Year Olds

January 8 is a Japanese national holiday which honors young people who have reached, or who will reach, the age of 20 during the current year. Twenty is the age of majority in Japan, and people who have reached this age are subject to adult laws and gain the right to vote in elections as well as to drink.   Read More!


Bridging the Cultural Divide and Living the Okinawan Culture

It’s hard to believe we have been on the island almost a year. I remember our sponsors babbling a long list of places to eat and see, my head spinning from lack of sleep and downright fear of riding on the “wrong” side of the highway.   Read More!


The Pearls of Rented, Borrowed Dive Equipment

The cool green water matches her eyes and man is it nice to back in the water and great to be diving with a good dive buddy. Suddenly those same pretty green eyes are flashing panic and I see that she is struggling to stay afloat.   Read More!


Ice Sculptures and Frozen Fun at the Sapporo Snow Festival

As a young boy in a family without a VCR or a games console I spent many of my winters days amusing myself by trying to make snowmen out of the half an inch of slushy snow that had fallen over night. By mid afternoon all I would have to show for my efforts would be a small ball of dirty snow, a pair of saturated mittens, which had started to smell funny and several battle scars from the neighbors inquisitive cat.   Read More!


Why Not Allow Okinawans Access to Bases?

It is so unfair that, basically without restriction, US service members and their dependents are free to leave the confines of the bases and explore, shop,eat, and enjoy all that Okinawa has to offer while Okinawans can only gain access to the "Holy Land" via the generosity of someone connected with the military. Why should the military be permitted to enjoy a nice bowl of soba, a movie at Mihama, or just simply the pleasure of window shopping at a local store? It is virtually impossible for the average Okinawan to enter the base and enjoy a some American cuisine and a stroll through the commisary or PX.   Read More!

The Air Force Uses and Abuses People

I would like Ms Hervey ("Sexual Harassment Caused Torment Trauma, Depression" Letters Dec 21) to know that there are people out here who feel exactly as she does. It is a shame when people in the 390th Squadron who are high profile can get away with sexual harassment just because of who they are.   Read More!

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