Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Greetings and Hai Sai!

Welcome to, my blog about Okinawan culture, history and people.  I hope you'll enjoy it. 
My name is Mike Schoonover.  The first questions you are probably asking are: who am I and why am I writing this blog?

Who am I: My Story

I grew up on a small farm in upstate New York. I lived a typical rural life filled with long summer vacations, ice cream socials, and county fairs.    I knew very little about Okinawa then, or most other places in the world for that matter.  My small town was the only world I knew. That all changed for me one day when I went off to college.

I met a third-generation Okinawan-American girl who became my wife a few years later. Through her, I have become more and more captivated with the Okinawan people, their rich history, and unique culture.  But most striking of all has been to see and feel the true “Okinawan Heart.”
I recently retired from my career as a research scientist and am now a part-time consultant and writer. My wife and I live in Hawaii, which is home to one of the largest Okinawan populations outside of Okinawa itself. 
We are active in local Okinawan clubs, events, and fundraisers. At our family get-togethers we have celebrated the arrival into this world of two generations of nieces and nephews. We have also mourned the passing of older family members.  We have made many good friends and had many good times. 

And through all of this I came to realize that this wonderful knowledge about Okinawa is in danger of being lost to the younger generations as time marches on.

So - why am I writing this blog?

Many people have written about Okinawa.  Books, articles, websites are all around us.  But some can be very long reading.  Others may be out of print, or hard to find. For today’s busy person pressed for time, this can make it harder to learn about Okinawa. 

I created this blog with that busy person in mind. 
My goal is to do what I can to find information about Okinawa and share it with you in digestible bite-size chunks.  For those who want to dig deeper into a particular subject, I will also share references and sources when I can.

It is one small thing I can to do to give something back to this community that has given me so much.
This blog is for all of you who are curious to learn more about Okinawa and for everyone who is “Okinawan at Heart.”

I would love to hear from you.  You can contact me at:

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