For Further Reading

This list will keep expanding – check back often!


Ruth Adaniya, Alice Njus, and Margaret Yamate, ed.  Of Andagi and Sanshin: Okinawan Culture in Hawaii.  Honolulu: Hui O Laulima, 1988.
Numerous stories about Okinawan culture both in the old country as well as in Hawaii.

Kenny Ehman.  Okinawa Explorer, 3rd ed.: A Complete Guidebook to Okinawa.  Okinawa, Japan: T2K Productions
        A great guidebook to Okinawa historic and cultural sites, museums, attractions, beaches accommodations, festivals and events. 

Ethnic Studies Oral History Project.  Uchinanchu: A History of Okinawans in Hawaii.  Honolulu: Center for Oral History, 1981. 

Douglas G. Haring.  Okinawan Customs: Yesterday and Today.  Tokyo: Tuttle, 1969.
                An English translation of a Japanese account of Okinawan customs in 1896.  Extensive footnotes by the author expand on the translated text.

George H. Kerr.  Okinawa: the History of an Island People, revised edition. Tokyo: Tuttle, 2000.
                Excellent reference book.   Ryukyu history from prehistoric times up to the end of the Battle of Okinawa.  Revised edition has an afterword by Mitsugu Sakihara (see below), giving corrections or additions to the first edition. 573 pp. 

William P. Lebra.  Okinawan Religion: Belief, Ritual, and Social Structure.  Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1966. 

R.H.P. Mason  and J.G. Caiger.  A History of Japan, revised edition.  Tokyo: Tuttle, 1997. 407 pp.
                Good introduction to Japanese history.

Mitsugu Matsuda. The Government of the Kingdom of Ryukyu, 1609-1872. Gushikawa City, Okinawa, Japan: Yui Publishing Co., 2001.
                Mitsugu Matsuda received his Ph.D. in History at the University of Hawaii.  This publication is his dissertation thesis, written in 1967.  It covers Satsuma’s basic policies toward Ryukyu, the administrative organization of the kingdom, local government agencies, royalty ranking systems, social strata, and means of promotion and advancement in the Ryukyu kingdom government from the time of the Japan invasion until the end of the Ryukyu kingdom.  An excellent reference work. 

John F. McDermott and Naleen Naupaka Andrade, ed.  People and Cultures of Hawaii: The Evolution of Culture and Ethnicity.  Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2011.  Ch. 6 “The Okinawans”.
                This book systematically covers each of the many cultures that now co-exist in Hawaii, along with their history, customs, and values.  One chapter is devoted to Okinawans. 

W. Scott Morton and Charlton M. Lewis. China: Its History and Culture, 4th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005.
                A good overview of China’s history.  More detailed than Yuan’s book (below). 

W. Scott Morton and J. Kenneth Olenik. Japan: Its History and Culture, 4th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005.
                Another good overview of Japan’s history.  Has a few more details than the book by Mason and Caiger (above). 

Richard J. Pearson.  Archaeology of the Ryukyu Islands: A Regional Chronology from 3000 B.C. to the Historic Period.  Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1969.
A detailed, academic review of archaeological findings across the Ryukyu islands and their connection to Taiwan and Kyushu. 

Richard Pearson, ed.  Okinawa: The Rise of an Island Kingdom.  Archaeological and Cultural Perspectives.  Oxford, England:  British Archeological Reports, 2009.
                Proceedings of a 2007 Symposium on Okinawan archaeology studies. 

Mitsugu Sakihara. A Brief History of Early Okinawa Based on the Omoro Soshi.  Tokyo: Honpo Shoseki Press, 1987.
Professor Sakihara developed theories about what Okinawan life was like before the start of its recorded history, based on the collection of old poems and songs of villages and islands that were passed down orally for generations, then finally documented in 22 volumes written from 1532 to 1623 A.D.

 Gregory Smits.  Visions of Ryukyu: Identity and Ideology in Early-Modern Thought and Politics.  University of Hawaii Press, 1999.
Professor Smits provides a well-researched and very detailed account of the different factions at play in the Ryukyu Kingdom following the Japanese invasion of 1609, and the various philosophical and political forces at play at this crossroads in Okinawan history.
Stephen Turnbull.  The Samurai Capture a King: Okinawa 1609.  Oxford, UK: Osprey Press, 2009.
An excellent book on the details of the invasion of the Ryukyu Kingdom by the Satsuma army of Southern Japan.  Stephen Turnbull is an expert historian on Japanese medieval warfare and the samurai and has an extensive list of publications. 

Haiwang Yuan, ed. This is China: The First 5,000 Years.  Great Barrington, Massachusetts: Berkshire Publishing, 2010.
                A concise look at China’s long history.  For a more detailed history of China, see W. Scott Morton’s book (above).