The Ryukyu Kingdom is located in the southernmost part of Japan, a unique blend of Japanese – Edo period, Chinese 14th – 16th era, Korean, regional asia and western influence has been preserved and evolve into the Okinawan culture of today.
Okinawa ☸ Unique Culture – The Ryukyu Kingdom
The Ryukyu Kingdom is located in the southernmost part of Japan, a unique blend of Japanese – Edo period, Chinese 14th – 16th era, Korean, regional asia and western influence has been preserved and evolve into the Okinawan culture of today. Okinawan are proud to call themselves uchinanchu or “sea people” in local dialect.
Hand Craft : Yachimun & Ryukyu Glass
Yachimun pottery & Ryukyu Glass were influenced from China and Korea. In 1616 it is noted that Korean potters were invited to share the skills of making yachimun from Satsuma region which is said to be near Korea (present day Kagoshima). Whereas the Ryukyu glass art of present has been birthed after the Okinawa war as there were many empty glass bottles to be recycled. Today colourful Ryukyu glass is highly appreciated as a work of art.
Traditional Fabric: Bashofu & Bingata
If you happen to be in Okinawa during one of the many celebrations, you will notice the traditional Kimono fabric called Bashofu, made from basho a Japanese Banana fibre. Kijoka-bashofu is the art of weaving Bashofu has been recognized as an intangible cultural heritage of Japan. The light fabric suits the subtropical weather of Okinawa and worn by all. Bingata bright colours and patterns are more elaborate with a heritage from India, China, and Javanese influence. Gold being worn by the Ryukyu King and the rest by warrior class. Bingata are worn usually for more ceremonial events.
Cultural difference in music instrument & performing arts : Sanshin, Ryukyu Dance and Kumiodori
The sanshin a three stringed instrument is akin to the mainland Japan shamisen, a stark difference is the coated python skin. Found only in Okinawa and has been introduced by China since the 16th century. Today we can catch the Ryukyu Dance during the Bon festivals. Ryukyu dance with the accompanying music of the sanshin was once performed for the visiting Chinese envoys to the Ryukyu kingdom. There are different dance moves according to occasions. The founder of Kumiodori known as Chokun Tamagusuku from 1684 – 1734, representing the king of Shuri then as the dance magistrate. Kumiodori a theatrical performance existed after visiting Edo – mainland Japan, mixing his experience in Japanese and Chinese traditions in the performing arts of that era.
The people of Okinawa: Language, Food and Drinks
Besides Japanese language, localized Okinawa language is still widely spoken. Not even the Japanese from mainland can understand! You must try the local cuisine from Okinawa soba, Goya champuru, umi-budo, beni-imo pastries, to the westernized Taco rice dish and also Habushu or Awamori, it is like a sake to the Okinawans. Koregusu – pickled chili in Awamori goes well with the Okinawa soba. As you can see bittergourd or goya and taco or beni-imo plays a great role in many local dishes. You will not find these anywhere in Japan except in Okinawa.
Therefore don’t wait, join me in exploring Okinawa!
This year Apple Vacations is proud to bring to those who wants something different, a unique side of Japan unlike others. Okinawa chartered direct flight!
Click on link for more details: THE KINGDOM OF RYUKYU@OKINAWA
Departure Date: 8th & 18th December 2017
Call Hotline: 03-2141 8250 (Apple Asia)