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Explore island with local Okinawan A-Z dictionary

Date Posted: 2011-06-09

What is “Hi-jya“? What is “Ishiganto?“

No idea? Well, don’t feel bad because most mainland Japanese don’t know either. There are numerous special words or items in Okinawa that are unique to the Ryukyu Kingdom: Okinawa only.

“Hi-jya“ means “Goat“ in Hogen as Okinawan dialect is called, and “Ishiganto“ means one of the charmed statues on the road that are for preventing misfortune. Until now, it wasn’t possible to find definitions for most of these words, even in a Japanese dictionary. Also unavailable were the correct answers from Japanese who live in mainland Japan.

That’s why an Okinawa group has created the dictionary tool for special Okinawans, and it is in English. The hope is that the people who read and use this dictionary will come to know and understand more about Okinawan words, culture, dialect, lifestyle and more. An Okistyle official says “We’re sure that there are a lot of people who are interested in Okinawa, not just here but around the world, and we want let them to know about the new dictionary and how to use it, too.

“We are introducing many kinds of Okinawan items, like words, culture, names of creatures in Okinawa, sightseeing places, world heritage sites, food, products, theme park, shopping mall and much more!“ the official says, extending an invitation to visit to http://www.okistyle.com/a2z/ or just search by the keyword “Okistyle“. The Okistyle website has more information on Okinawan lifestyle, and the information is being updated day by day, and week by week.

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