November 20, 2017

My research in the southern Japanese isles has been full of inspiring encounters. Mr. Nishihara is one of these rare humans whose presence makes other people's lives better.

Born in 1945 right at the end of the horrific battle of Okinawa that saw one-third of the island's population killed, he lost his father in the war and his family home taken by the US army base. That, however, did not stop him for devoting his life to be at service to others: a Red Cross pe...

September 16, 2017

After several weeks of an idyllic existence, cocooned from the rest of the world in the peaceful Amami islands, I found myself in Okinawa and rudely confronted by current and past geopolitics, history in the making, human rights and environmental issues to name but a few. I traveled up north today to Nago City to meet with Hideki Yoshikawa, an environmental activist/anthropologist who took me to Henoko and the protesters camp outside the US military base.

Desp...

September 14, 2017

I have had some pretty awesome community media encounters so far in my research here in the Ryukyu islands but this one with Mr Ikehara from Shimakutuba Broadcasting/Crest Company is hard to beat. And here is why: this man, an entrepreneur, innovator, inventor and fluent speaker of Uchinaaguchi was looking for ways to promote the island's fast declining language and he thought the best way of doing this is not by some top down government/ prefecture language p...

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