Okinawa: The History of an Island People

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9780804820875: Okinawa: The History of an Island People
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"The first full–length monograph on the history of the Ryukyu Islands in any Western language...a standard work."—Pacific Affairs

This book is the definitive work on Okinawan History and an important scholarly work in the fields of Japanese studies and Japanese history.

Few people can point to Okinawa on a map, yet this tiny island sitting between China and Japan was and continues to be one of the most crucial Asian nerve centers in all U.S. strategic defense. Ninety percent of all U.S. military forces in Japan are located on Okinawa, one of the Ryukyu Islands, and it was through these troops that the martial art of karate was exported to the United States.

In Okinawa: History of an Island People, noted Eastern affairs specialist George Kerr recounts the fascinating history of the island and its environs, from 1314 A.D. to the late twentieth century. The histories of Japan, Okinawa and the entire Pacific region are crucially intertwined so the study of this fascinating chain of islands is crucial to understanding all of East Asia. First published in 1958, this edition features a new introduction and appendix by Okinawa history scholar Mitsugu Sakihara, making this the most comprehensive resource on the small, vital, and intriguing island of Okinawa.

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About the Author:

George Kerr, a Far Eastern affairs specialist for more than sixty years, served a variety of roles for the U.S. government, taking assignments in Formosa, Korea, China, the Middle East, Okinawa, and Europe. He is the author of Formosa: Betrayed and Okinawa, Vol. 12 of the Ballantine Illustrated History of WWII, in addition to many articles for journals. After retiring from government service, he lived in Hawaii, where he continued to write and research until his death in 1992.

Mitsugu Sakihara is a professor and the president of Hawaii International College. Prior to assuming his duties at Hawaii International, he taught for many years at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, where he continues to teach an annual course on Okinawan history. Dr. Sakihara was a 1987-88 Fulbright professor to Japan, and he is the author of Brief History of Early Okinawa: Based on the Omoro Soshi and co-translator of The Status System and Social Organization of Satsuma.

Review:

"[Okinawa: The History of an Island People] is history, firm, frank, organized and detailed, from the mythical past to the military present...It is a lifetime work of scholarship, full of life" —Mainichi Daily News

"The first comprehensive history of the Ryukyuan people to appear in any Western language...recommended to students of East Asian culture, who will find it a valuable addition to their libraries." —The American Anthropologist

"[Okinawa: The History of an Island People is] a book that answers the questions of the curious layman, satisfies the standards of critical scholarship, and is readable and fascinating besides." —American Historical Review

"Comprehensive and well-researched, this definitive book of the history of the Ryukyus is able to capture the essence of the Okinawan people. Their trusting and peaceful nature; strength and tenacity through typhoons, poverty, disease, and invasion; and grace and adaptability are all in evidence as they juggle dual allegiances to China and Japan; interact with interlopers and bellicose outsiders including Christian missionaries and Commodore Perry; and adjust to the post-WWII American presence, Reversion, and transition to a tourist economy." —Goodreads

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9780804804370: Okinawa: The History of an Island People

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ISBN 10:  0804804370 ISBN 13:  9780804804370
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing, 1989
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