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6,410,000 tourists visit Okinawa in 2013 – a new annual record

January 21, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

On January 20, the Okinawa Prefectural Government announced the number of tourists who visited Okinawa from January to December 2013. The number was 6,413,700, a new annual record. This represents a 9.9 percent increase over the previous year. It exceeded the previous record of 6,045,500 set in 2008. The number of Japanese tourists rose by 7.4 percent to 5,862,900 and foreign tourists increased by 46.2 percent to 550,800. The opening of New Ishigaki Airport,...

 

Ryukyuan ritual Momosoomonomairi reenacted in Shuri Castle Park

Ryukyuan ritual <em>Momosoomonomairi</em> reenacted in Shuri Castle Park

January 26, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

On January 25, the Okinawa Churashima Foundation recreated the Momosoomonomairi, one of the traditional rituals that used to be carried out at Shuri Castle during the Ryukyu Kingdom period.

The foundation commemorated the restoration of four buildings...

Arsa seaweed harvest starts on Ojima

Arsa seaweed harvest starts on Ojima

January 24, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

The arsa or hitoegusa (Monostroma nitidum Wittrock) seaweed harvest has started at Ojima, Nanjo City. Shigemasa Oshiro, 59, who visited a beach on the island, said, “This year’s cold and sunny weather helps arsa grow very well.”

The seaweed, which...

Yonabaru Town Culture Association forms Shimakutuba drama group “ObaQ”

Yonabaru Town Culture Association forms Shimakutuba drama group

January 24, 2014 Koei Chibana, correspondent of Ryukyu Shimpo

Yonabaru Town Culture Association Children Culture Club has been working to promote familiarization of Shimakutuba, the endangered Okinawan language to children. The organization formed a Shimakutuba drama group “Yonabaru ObaQ.”...

Okinawa traditional arts event attracts 11,000 people

Okinawa traditional arts event attracts 11,000 people

January 26, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

An event introducing Okinawan traditional arts started at the Okinawa Convention Center in Ginowan on January 25. The organizer has held the event for 31 consecutive years in Okinawa. The four-day event has attracted about 11,000 people by January 26.

The...

Two whales swim raising a spray of water off Kunigami

Two whales swim raising a spray of water off Kunigami

January 22, 2014 Katsuyoshi Oshiro, correspondent of Ryukyu Shimpo

In the morning of January 11, two humpback whales swam 200 meters off the coast of the Ginama district of Kunigami Village. They moved slowly, occasionally shooting up a spray of water and slamming their tail fins into the surface.

In...

Defense Bureau confirms presence of dugongs 31 times during Henoko landfill investigation

January 25, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Okinawa Defense Bureau investigated the habitat of the endangered species the dugong from an aircraft over 35 days between September 2011 to January 2013 in preparation for moving the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to Henoko, Nago. They confirmed...

ASEAN-Japan Tourism Exchange Convention held in Okinawa

ASEAN-Japan Tourism Exchange Convention held in Okinawa

January 17, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

On January 16, the ASEAN-Japan Tourism Exchange Convention, which seeks to attract tourists from ASEAN countries to Japan and Okinawa was held in Ginowan City. People related to the tourism industry and the government in Japan held a panel discussion on the challenges...

National Theatre Okinawa celebrates 10th anniversary of its opening

National Theatre Okinawa celebrates 10th anniversary of its opening

January 19, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

Marking the 10th anniversary of its opening, the National Theater Okinawa held commemoration ceremony and celebration performance in Urasoe on January 18.

Many people involved celebrated this occasion for the theater that has been growing as the Hall of...

Sunflower event at Kitanakagusuku

Sunflower event at Kitanakagusuku

January 17, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

Sunflowers are in full bloom in a 10,000-square-meter field behind Kitanakagusuku Junior High School. On January 18, the 6th Sunflower Event in Kitanakagusuku started, and will run until February 2.

The sunflowers, which farmers planted for use as fertilizer,...

[Editorial]Anti-US base mayor re-elected: Japan and US should abandon Henoko plan

January 20, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

In the Nago mayoral election, the incumbent Susumu Inamine, who rejects moving U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to Henoko, Nago, won a landslide victory in his second term against Bunshin Suematsu, a former Okinawa prefectural assembly member who backs the...