March 19, 2018

New: Ryukyuan Languages Resources

Filed under: resources — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

The Okinawa Collection is pleased to announce that it added the following two items.

(1) Ryūkyū no kotoba no kakikata : Ryūkyū shogo tōitsuteki hyōkihō琉球のことばの書き方 : 琉球諸語統一的表記法 (Written in Japanese)

This book teaches the users how to write eleven Ryukyuan languages (from Amami to Yaeyama islands).

Ryukyuan Language Book

(2) Ryūkyū shogo to kodai Nihongo : Nichi-Ryū sogo no saiken ni mukete = Ryukyuan and premodern Japanese : toward the reconstruction of proto-Japanese-Ryukyuan琉球諸語と古代日本語 : 日琉祖語の再建にむけて (written in Japanese)


Ryukyuan Language Book

These books are cataloged and available for checkout.

May 8, 2017

Skills and Knowledge to Understand Komonjo

Filed under: resources — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 2:00 PM

Skills and Knowledge of Understanding Komonjo / 古文書, Archives and Old Documents

The University of the Ryukyus Library’s Okinawa Collection [琉球大学沖縄資料室] offers a monthly column called “Kijimun’s Monologue.” Some of the column’s back number has English version in addition to the Japanese version.

Last month’s column was about the characters used in komonjo / 古文書 (ancient documents).

Image of Kijimun's Monologue, April 2017


“Among Komonjo of Ryukyu, the most beautiful character was used in Omorosōshi (an anthology of ancient songs for religious service in Ryukyu. Completed in 1531.) This is the record of prayers which Kikoe ōkimi (the chief priestess) and Noro (priestess) gave.”



The Japan Studies Librarian at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa organized a workshop in February 2017. Some of the presentations made during the workshop are related to the characters used in komonjo.

NIJL Workshop at UH Mānoa, February 2017

Introduction to kuzushiji (cursive Japanse calligraphy): As an example of “Fuji no Hitoana” owned by the Honolulu Museum of Art by Prof. Tomoko Koida of National Institute of Japanese Literature [NIJL] (恋田知子、国文学研究所教授).

UH Mānoa Library has some dictionaries and learning materials on kuzushiji [cursive Japanese].

<How to Find These Resources>
  1. Go to the UH Mānoa Library’s Online Catalog, Voyager [].
  2. Search the catalog with a keyword, “kuzushiji.” (no quotation marks)

March 10, 2017

Michanu Fui: Okinoerabujima Language Learning Picture Book

Filed under: resources — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

Michanu Fui: A Picture Book to Help People Learn/Revive Okinoerabujima Language 

Linguists on Okinoerabujima language published a picture book titled Michanu Fui / 『みちゃぬ ふい』.  The picture book explains the Okinoerabujima language vocabularies and comes with a CD-ROM. The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa received a copy as a gift, and it will be available soon. (As of March 9, 2017, the materials are in processing).

According to the project which produced Michanu Fui, the title (Michanu Fui) means “the voice of the land” in the modern Japanese language.

michanu fui

Okinoerabujima on Google Maps

[Map source: Google Maps, accessed on March 9, 2017, HST]

UH Mānoa Library also has several resources on Okinoerabujima. Below is one of them.

Amami no warabeuta to asobi. 1. Yorontō, Okinoerabujima, Tokunoshima hen / Hidaka Yoshihiro, Maehara Ryūkō. (奄美のわらべ歌と遊び. 1. 与論島·沖永良部島·徳之島編 / 日高良廣·前原隆鋼.)


February 17, 2017

COS Lecture Series: Okinawa’s Language Diversity and the Role of the Uchinaaguchi Textbook

Filed under: events — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

The Center for Okinawan Studies at UH Mānoa presents its public lecture titled, “Okinawa’s Language Diversity and the Role of the Uchinaaguchi Textbook.”

Speaker: Masashi Sakihara, a Ph.D. candidate in Ryukyuan Linguistics at the University of the Ryūkyūs

"Japan’s Endangered Languages Still Considered Mere Dialects · Global Voices."

Above map: “Japan’s Endangered Languages Still Considered Mere Dialects · Global Voices.”

Global Voices. N.p., 01 Mar. 2014. Web. 10 Feb. 2017.2017-Masashi-Sakihara.pdf

Date: March 3, 2017
Time: 5-6:30 pm
Place: Tokioka Room (Moore Hall 319)

December 5, 2016

Okinawa bunka kenkyū / 沖縄文化研究 online

Filed under: resources — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 8:00 AM

Okinawa bunka kenkyū / 『沖縄文化研究』now available on line in PDF

As of December 2, 2016, 273 articles from Okinawa bunka kenkyū is available, from June 1974 to March 2016.

Ryūkyū no hōgen /『琉球の方言』 is also available at Hosei University’s Repository.

The UH Māanoa Library continues to receive a hard copy of the journal. However, shipping and processing inside the library takes time, and having an online version might be a good alternative to access the most current scholarship on Okinawa and the Ryukyus.