Okinawa: The History of an Island People

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Tuttle Publishing, Oct 1, 2000 - History - 573 pages
5 Reviews
"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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Review: Okinawa: The History of an Island People

User Review  - Matt - Goodreads

Very comprehensive and well researched, this book is a must for anyone interested in Okinawan history or culture. It is very detailed without being too boring (though it is a bit slow in the beginning ... Read full review

Review: Okinawa: The History of an Island People

User Review  - Brandon - Goodreads

Great book ... especially for those who live in Okinawa. The island is only 66 miles from the Northern tip to the Southern tail. Having lived here a year prior to reading this book, I had already ... Read full review

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About the author (2000)

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.

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