Aki visited Okinawa as part of her Beat-the-Winter fix two years ago! Okinawa is a 3-hour flight from Tokyo. I wish I could chase the winter blahs away in the same way but 3-hours from here only gets me to the Mediterranean and not a tropical paradise! The Prefecture of Okinawa is divided into four main sets of islands or archipelagos:
- Okinawa Islands
- Miyako Islands
- Yaeyama Islands
- Senkaku Islands (disputed)
She wrote to me from Miyakojima, a small island part of the Miyako islands and approximately 400 kilometres east of Taiwan. Reading her description of the beautiful beaches and great views, it’s hard to believe that Okinawa was the scene of some of the deadliest fighting of WWII. The Pacific was recently on TV here and it brought the war into our living room in ways that books have never manged thus far. I think it’s also fair to say that the war in the Pacific is not as well known/studied here as the European conflict (for obvious geographical/national reasons). Thankfully, time and peace have worked their magic on the islands and–while the history and its consequences remain–“beautiful” is the dominant word I retain from her message.