View Full Version : Okinawa (Uchinaa) History

12th February 2003, 17:56
Does anyone know of any good, meaty works on the social history of Okinawa or the Ryukyus? Other than the George Kerr work I have been unable to find any.
Thank you.
Robert Welch
Denver, CO.

Hank Irwin
13th February 2003, 14:04
This is a pretty good site for starters...http:/www.okinawan-shorinryu.com/okinawa/uchina.html (http://www.okinawan-shorinryu.com/okinawa/uchina.html)

Joseph Svinth
14th February 2003, 02:07
Start with

Fisch, Arnold G. Jr. Military Government in the Ryukyu Islands 1945-1950 (Washington, DC: Center of Military History, 1988)

Kreiner, Josef, editor. Sources of Ryukyuan History and Culture in European Collections (Munich: Iudicium, 1996)

Lebra, William P. Okinawan Religion: Belief, Ritual, and Social Structure (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1985)

-----. "The Okinawans," People and Cultures of Hawaii: A Psychocultural Profile, John F. McDermott, Jr., Wen-shing Tseng, and Thomas W. Maretzki, editors (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1980)

Sakamaki, Shunzo. Ryukyu: A Bibliographic Guide to Okinawan Studies (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1963)

Sakihara, Mitsugu. A Brief History of Early Okinawa based on the Omoro Soshi (Tokyo: Honpo Shoseki Press, 1987)

Many of the texts cited, both in English and Japanese, should be available at University of Hawaii Manoa, University of Washington, UCLA, Harvard, UToronto, etc.

At a popular level, also see

United Okinawan Association. Uchinanchu: A Pictorial Tribute to Okinawans in Hawaii (Honolulu: EastWest Magazine, 1990)

Online, try


Hank Irwin
14th February 2003, 03:11
Svinth Sensei...BAM! Just like Emerille,(the famous cook, noted for that saying, in case you didn't know guys) got the ingredients. Svinth Sensei, you supply the "rue" of MA's. Domo:D

20th February 2003, 19:20
Thank you Mr. Svinth. The Research librarians here at Norlin were shaking their little heads at me (What's with all this Japanese (ouch!) stuff alongside "Popular Religion in the 14th Century Rhineland"...we thought you were a medievalist!! :D ). This has been quite helpful!
Robert Welch
Denver, Co.

Joseph Svinth
25th February 2003, 02:53
With the Omori Soshi, you are definitely being a medievalist. No doubt about that.

Meanwhile, here's another link for y'all. Nothing on karate, but lots of good stuff. http://museum.mm.pref.okinawa.jp

By the way, when they write about "Okinawan fork culture," they aren't talking about dining. :)

Joseph Svinth
25th February 2003, 03:01
If you are interested in Japanese martial arts, note that there were kendo clubs in Denver before WWI, and that Sasamori, who wrote the book with Gordon Warner, was one of the pioneers. A lot of judo and JA professional wrestling history in the area, too.

10th March 2003, 23:09
Anyone knows how many people lived on Okinawa island from 17th 19th century? And how many from them belonged to high class of Okinawan society (they can potentially practice tode)?

Joseph Svinth
11th March 2003, 04:00
In 1893, Naha had a population of about 30,000. Meanwhile, the 1900 census reported about 480,000 people living in all of Okinawa Prefecture.

Some additional links: