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The Spirit of Okinawa, Book Signing

Date Posted: 2003-06-22

In 1972, an Osaka-based photographer made it his life’s work to capture the essence of the Ryukyu Island chain on film. Shokyu Otsuka has since become renowned for his photographs of the people and sights of Okinawa and its surrounding islands. A member of the Japan Professional Photographers’ Society, the Japan Travel Professional Photographers’ Society, the Travel Writers’ Association of Japan, and the Japan Society for Arts and History of Photography, Otsuka has a number of credits to his name, including the popular but now-out-of-print book Southern Breezes. His latest English-language compilation, The Spirit of Okinawa, was published in February 2003 and is on sale exclusively at Foster and Kadena BookMarks. A book signing session is scheduled at the Foster BookMark, June 28 and 29, from 1 to 4 p.m. each day.

Otsuka’s photography focuses on the inhabitants and nature of Okinawa’s outer islands, particularly Ishigaki Island. He has a special interest in photographing the elderly. In the book introduction, he writes, “What makes Okinawa even more attractive is the islands’ elderly folk. Even at the age of eighty or ninety, they continue to work hard, play hard, and sing of a ‘healthy old age.’ Their smiles, which genuinely come from the bottom of the heart, are there in appreciation of having overcome such horrors as those of war and living in remote isolation.”


Through his photography, Otsuka hopes to raise awareness concerning environmental issues by showing the beauty of our surroundings. “I continue to send a message to all of Japan and every region of the United States through my photo exhibitions. The message is to ask for the eternal preservation of the ocean, protecting the world-renowned coral reefs as one of mankind’s treasures.”

The Spirit of Okinawa is a great keepsake of your tour on Okinawa, with pictures taken from the perspective of someone who truly loves the island. The Spirit of Okinawa includes images of the things that make Okinawa unique-from festivals to faces and castles to coral. Through the book, you can catch a glimpse of the lives of the Okinawan people and relish both the familiar sites and those you may not have had a chance to visit during your stay. If you’ve already purchased a copy of The Spirit of Okinawa, you can bring it to the Foster BookMark to have it signed by the author. Books will be available for purchase on-site for $28.

The Spirit of Okinawa, Book Signing featuring photographer Shokyu Otsuka
J une 28­-29, 1-4 p.m., Foster BookMark

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