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Retired Company President Becomes Tour Guide

Date Posted: 2001-01-07

A 72-year old ex-company president has become the oldest person in Okinawa to obtain a tour guide license.

Katsutoshi Fukushima used to run a wholesale business in Tokyo, but when he decided to retire at the age of 70 and turn over the helm of his company to his son, he wanted to move somewhere where he could always see the ocean. He found such a place in Yomitan Village in Okinawa.

Being interested in history, he began to study the three ancient middle Okinawa castle sites, Zakimi, Nakagusuku and Katsuren, all recently nominated to the World Heritage list. He first planned to guide only his friends who came to visit from the mainland, but soon began to guide other people as well. That in turn led to him obtaining the license. He has also grown rather fond of his Okinawan neighbors. “I thought Okinawan people would be feeling victimized by their war experience, but I have discovered that that’s not the case. They are very proud of their own history, culture and heritage, and I want people from other parts of Japan to understand this,” Fukushima says.

A recent survey has revealed that Okinawa is fast becoming the retirement location of choice for Japanese.

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