The Quest for Nakagusuku Castle

Sometime in April, 2020, island of Okinawa, Japan I routed to a small park near the Nakagusuku Castle, hoping to get closer to it and to find some scenic places to explore, as there was a lot of green in that section of the map. After a night of no sleep and a reduced appetiteContinue reading “The Quest for Nakagusuku Castle”

The Guardian Lions of Okinawa

They were everywhere, and I was intrigued. On the garden wall or gatepost of nearly every house was a pair of grimacing lion-dog figures. I had seen giant lion statues outside the sleek downtown Bank of China back in Suzhou, and for that matter at some American Asian restaurants, but these were as common asContinue reading “The Guardian Lions of Okinawa”

Okinawan Turtleback Tombs

Imagine my surprise at meandering down a side street during my first week on the island and finding myself in a small neighborhood of concrete structures vaguely resembling graves or mausoleums! Most of them looked to be from within the last 50-70 years, if I had to make a snap judgment on how old theContinue reading “Okinawan Turtleback Tombs”

Tattooed in Okinawa

I finally worked up the nerve to compliment the owner of BB Coffeeshop on his Polynesian tattoos, and ask him which places he would recommend. He gave me a name – Spiderweb Tattoo Parlor. After mulling tattoo ideas off and on for months, I had finally chosen a word to place on my body. (AboutContinue reading “Tattooed in Okinawa”

Okinawa Diaries: Isolation

This has been a rough year for everyone, especially the elderly and those at high risk, who have had to impose stricter quarantine measures than the rest of us. I share this personal chapter of my life partly in their honor. May we love and look out for the invisible among us until they are visible, and no one has to live as a ghost.