November 27, 2018

Bone-Washing Ritual in Okinawa

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 10:00 AM

In December 2016, the Okinawa Collection Blog delivered the news that the film titled Born Bone Boon was premiered at the 11th Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia. The same film, Born Bone Born (the Japanese original title is 「洗骨」(senkotsu) is one of the films premiered at the 38th Hawai’i International Film Festival.

The film uses a bone-washing ritual practiced in a part of Okinawa.

The film’s official site:

Born Bone Born from HIFF on Vimeo.

The trailer:

This film was directed by Toshiyuki Teruya, who is known as his stage name, “Gori.” Gori is one of the comedians who came to UH Mānoa with the play titled Alohaitai.

Evgeny S. Baksheev wrote an article on rituals in Okinawa, including bone-washing, which is available as an Open Access resource.

Baksheev, Evgeny S. “Becoming Kami? Discourse on Postmortem Ritual Deification in the Ryukyus.” Japan Review, no. 20 (2008): 275-339.

Another author wrote, “[t]he living answer the call of the dead, helping them to resume their
material engagement with the social world. Through most of Okinawa, the practice of senkotsu (bone washing), a creative, coordinated labor organized by the women of the community, was necessary to transform the ruins of the human body into a thing pure and beautiful.”

Christopher T. Nelson. “Listening to the Bones: The Rhythms of Sacrifice in Contemporary Japan.” Boundary 2, Vol. 42, No. 3 (2015): 143-155; the quote from Nelson, “Listening to the Bones,” p. 146.

June 1, 2018

Japanese Film about Senaga Kamejirō

Filed under: news,resources,Uncategorized — Tags: , , — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

A film titled “The man the United States feared most: Kamejirō” was released in Japan.

Title (rough translation): The Man the United States Feared the Most: (Senaga) Kamejirō” [= 米軍(アメリカ)が最も恐れた男:その名は、カメジロー」

The film’s Official Site:

The site explains the life and beliefs of Senaga (瀬長) Kamejirō (亀次郎), who was born in 1907 in Tomigusuku, Okinawa and died in 2001. An article titled “Achieving Reversion: Protest and Authority in Okinawa, 1952-70” by Christopher Aldous (2003) explains why the US Government feared Kamejiō. Aldous writes,

The 1950s were a decade of harsh military rule in Okinawa, a period in which an embryonic reversion movement was quickly suppressed, when villages were levelled by bulldozers to make way for US military facilities, and, most revealingly, when a democratically elected mayor, Senaga Kamejiro, with radical left-wing credentials, was forced out of office by the American authorities. In short, it was a time of political polarization, caused above all by arbitrary, oppressive military rule.

Christopher Aldous, “Achieving Reversion: Protest and Authority in Okinawa, 1952-70,” Modern Asian Studies 37, no. 2 (May 2003): 485-508, (To access the article, you need to have a UH ID and password).

The film is currently available only in Japan.

May 19, 2017

Endangered Species Day 2017

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Endangered Species Day 2017 : Endangered Species in Okinawa

May 19, 2017 marks the 12th annual Endangered Species Day. The list of the endangered species in the Pacific Islands, including Hawai’i, is available here.

Okinawa’s Iriomote wild cats (イリオモテヤマネコ / ヤママヤー in Okinawan; Mayailurus iriomotensis)is one of the endangered species.

Yaeyama Shotō no shizen : shizen, utsukushii umi, shimajima, ikimono = 『八重山諸島の自然 自然·美しき海、島々、生き物』/ chosaku, seisaku Okinawa-ken ; seisaku kigyō Konsōshiamu OVT Inpuresuto (DVD)

Current Location: UH Manoa: Sinclair AV Center
Call Number: DVD 10105

In 206, seven Iriomote wild cats were hit and killed by a car, according to the Ryukyu Shimpo (published on December 8. 2016).

The University of the Ryukyu’s Museum, Fūjukan (風樹館) offers digital images of the wild animals in Okinawa.

The Okinawa Prefectural Government has updated the list of the endangered species animals in Okinawa on May 19, 2017 (Endangered Species Day 2017).

改訂・沖縄県の絶滅のおそれのある野生生物(レッドデータおきなわ)第3版-動物編 [=Revised (list of Endangered Species in Okinawa (Red Okinawa), the Third Edition] – the site is written in Japanese.

A picture of yanbarukuina

[Image source:]


December 11, 2016


Filed under: Uncategorized — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

Naha Marathon 2016 and Honolulu Marathon 2016

Naha Marathon

was held on Sunday, December 4, 2016. The temperature at 1:30 PM was 28.2 degrees in Celsius (82.4 degrees in Fahrenheit). It was a hot day for runners!  [Source: The Ryukyu Shimpo, JP version]

Honolulu Marathon

will be held on Sunday, December 11, 2016, in Honolulu, HI.

There is a book by an Okinawan man on his marathon journey. Tsutomu Shimabukukro (島袋勉)lost both his legs in an accident, but finished a Honolulu marathon with the prosthetic legs.

Shimabukuro, Tsutomu. Gisoku no rannā : Honoruru Marason 42.195km e no chōsen, Bungeisha, 2005. / 島袋勉、『義足のランナー : ホノルルマラソン42.195kmへの挑戦』(東京、文芸社、2005年)。

UH Mānoa does not own a copy, but you can borrow a copy from the University of the Ryukyus.

The information about how to borrow books from other libraries:


November 30, 2016

National Diet Library of Japan’s Digital Images are now linked from CiNii Books!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 8:50 AM

Announcement made by the National Institute of Informatics (NII) in Japan.

Now the digitized images housed in the National Diet Library of Japan (NDL) are linked from the search results in CiNii Books! Patrons no longer need to search both NDL and CiNii Books separately.

Search results in CiNii Books (CiNii Books の検索結果画面)

new features in CiNii

CiNii Book is also working on including the results from HathiTrust Digital Library and The Nara Institutes for Cultural Heritage’s Comprehensive Database of Archaelogical Site Site Reports in Japan.

Ryukyus and Ancient Rome

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 8:15 AM

Roman Coins found in Okinawa

Some of you might saw this article back in October, 2016. Some ancient coins from the Roman Empire were found in Okinawa.

Here is the link to the article in The New York Times.

“Roman Artifacts Found in Okinawa Castle” from The New York Times (

The excavation site where ancient Roman coins were discovered in the ruins of the Katsuren castle in Uruma, Okinawa.Credit Uruma City Education Board, via European Pressphoto Agency

The same news can be read in some local Okinawan newspapers that UH Mānoa Library subscribes to. Here is one from The Ryūkyū Shimpō.

「勝連城跡からローマ帝国時代コイン オスマン帝国時代も出土」 (琉球新報) from

If you would like to read more articles on The Ryūkyū Shimpō and The Okinawa Times, here is the link to the site: