Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mike's Ryukyu Gallery

Cherry Blossoms Bustin' Out Everywhere !

Today just two sites on Okinawa were visited.

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Goya Republic (Travel Blog)

The Cherry Blossoms on Okinawa are blooming!

In some areas they're blooming more than others. 

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Map It Okinawa

The Tomb of King Gihon 

One of the mysteries surrounding the Old Ryukyu Kingdom is the disappearance of King Gihon, the third and last king of the Shunten Lineage.(1,4) The fallen leader relinquished his throne to King Eiso in the 13th Century due to a set of failures (famine, drought, etc.) that plagued his rule.(1,2,3) It is widely believed that after his abdication he fled north to a place that Okinawans call Asumui located near Cape Hedo of the present day Kunigami Village District. His tomb is believed to be in the town of Hedo(3), some 50 meters away from Highway 58.

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Cherry blossom season is here and that means people from around the island are flocking to popular festivals. However, it’s not always necessary to make the trip to the crowded parks of Okinawa in order to enjoy the sights. In fact there are sakura all around the island.

In today’s video I made my way to a small neighborhood park not far from Kadena Air Base (along Route 85). The read near the park is lined with beautiful sakura. Ryukyu white eyes were also enjoying the sakura before a rain storm rolled in.

Who needs a festival? Sakura are everywhere!

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The "O" Files

Common Name (English): Floss Silk Tree
Common Name (Japanese): Tokkuri Kiwata, トックリキワタ木綿
Scientific Name: Ceiba speciosa
Native Country: South America, Brazil
How it got to Okinawa Islands: Uncertain by the author
Location Spotted by the Author: Okinawa Main Island; Onna Village, Ginoza Village, Nago City, Kitanakagusuku
Japanese Name Dissection. Tokkuri - sake bottle, Ki - tree, Wata or Kiwata - cotton

Characteristics: Pink flowers, thorns on the trunk (not all), large green hanging fruit (image not available, believed not to be edible[no source]), the trunk is often shaped like that of a sake bottle.

Flower Blooming Season. No reference can be cited on blooming season. However, these flowers have been seen to bloom in the month of November and December (Okinawan main island), however it does not seem to happen annually for all trees.

Author's Note. The flowers for these trees in 2012 were very scarce, and the few trees that did bloom only had a few flowers to show forth. In 2013 some trees bloomed tremendously well, while others still had shown little flowers. I have no recollection in 2011 of these flowers blooming. Typically, these trees are seen along highways in vast numbers and in an orderly manner – which would imply that they were purchased by the government and planted there intentionally. The author is not certain exactly how they come to arrive to Okinawa.

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Japan Australia


KFC Colonel Crispy Chicken flavoured Potato Chips are a collaboration between Japanese snack maker Calbee and KFC. Calbee has long been our favourite Japanese snack maker, famous for their jyagariko potato sticks and light crispy potato chips. These potato chips are flavoured to taste like a piece of the Japanese original Colonel Crispy Chicken that is sold at KFC stores in Japan. It is basically a crispy boneless chicken strip with a hint of garlic and soy sauce.

They went on sale at convenience stores across Japan on January 6 and other stores from January 13, and will be available for a limited time. The potato chips sell for 148 yen (USD$1.48).

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The Japan Guy

Should I Really Use A Textbook To Study Japanese?

The Japan Guy's Stack of Japanese TextbooksIn a world of apps, gadgets, gizmos, and software, the old, faithful, paper Japanese textbook doesn’t always get the love it deserves. Maybe you’ve even come across people who have nothing good to say about textbooks: “You can’t learn real Japanese from a book!” “Japanese people don’t actually speak like that.”
“You’re learning Japanese, huh? "Oh you’re using THAT textbook.” “That textbook sucks eggs.” While I honestly haven’t heard the term “suck eggs” since my Ren and Stimpy, “Happy Continue Reading …

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