Smoke and mirrors…
Well after 3 months in Okinawa, we have decided that this is a nice vacation spot, but neither of us want to live here. Aside from beautiful beaches, there is not much else. Not much of the ancient Okinawan culture left here, basically this island is still recovering from WWll, it is covered in graves, no matter where you go there are grave markers, in between houses, in business areas, in the middle of farms and gardens. The old generation has a dislike for the American military, they just remember that the Americans killed 150,000 Okinawan civilians in 1945, confusing them for Japanese in the cross-fire.
That is on top of the 120,000 Japanese that were killed here during the “Battle of Okinawa”.
Some 67,000 American soldiers died in the invasion. Those old battles truly were hell.
Locals are still attempting to get the American Military off the island but to no effect. Okinawa is still under the control of Japan.
Anyway, we are planning to move next year to mainland Japan. The reason we came here was to volunteer for the Expressive Arts Program at the Local Mental Hospital however It seems that the EAP here is just a dream of the administrator and there is no Expressive Arts Program here. The Staff here has some training at Music Therapy, but the application has just resulted in a Staff Chorus which is very musically talented but has little effect on the mental patients here. This hospital needs to make some progress, but that is unlikely with the entire responsibility resting on one individual.
Onward….the adventure continues.
Rudy & Iori Kolar
- Understanding the complexity of Okinawa (eastasiaforum.org)
- Editorial: Outrage in Okinawa (nytimes.com)
- Japanese police arrest another U.S. Marine on Okinawa (panarmenian.net)
- A Culture Clash? (thediplomat.com)