Review: Above the East China Sea

When I was looking online for a picture of┬áTakako and the Great Typhoon the other month, I stumbled across an ad for another book relating to Okinawa - Above the East China Sea by Sarah Bird. As there really aren't many mainstream works of fiction that focus on the Ryukyu Islands, I immediately jumped at... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Obon 2014

I was going to start off this post complaining about the heat (again ­čśŤ ) but a quick glance through the archives showed me that last year's Obon post started off the same way. I suppose I'd better dial down the whining ... autumn will be here soon enough, I guess! Obon officially starts today,... Continue Reading →

Crash Course: Eisa

Obon in Okinawa ended yesterday, a week after that of mainland Japan, but I am sure the echoes of eisa music can still be heard around the island. Eisa is considered a Bon dance, meaning a dance that is performed during the Obon season to honor the spirits of the ancestors. In modern-day Okinawa, however,... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Obon

What a hot, muggy, crazy week it's been! I started off this month thinking that August in Kyushu might not be so bad, certainly not as bad as August in Okinawa. Right? Right??? Unfortunately, the weather this week has been unrelenting, a constant 93 degrees or higher with humidity so thick it just sits on... Continue Reading →

Celebrate: Obon

Mid-August is a hard time to travel around Japan. It's hot, it's muggy, everything's crowded because the kids are out of school and then - BAM - all of a sudden, it seems that everyone and their brother (which is very nearly the truth) is crowding onto your train to Kyoto! Where on earth did... Continue Reading →

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