Some Things Never Change:

NEWCOMER'S GUIDE TO OKINAWA

By Dr. Joe Hawkins
(as it appeared on Page 8 in the September 1956 issue of THIS MONTH ON OKINAWA)


I acquired the July through December 1956 issues of THIS MONTH ON OKINAWA in an online auction. Although the publication has changed quite a bit since then (it is now called THIS WEEK ON OKINAWA and has more feature articles and news), some things just never seem to change. I got quite a chuckle out of this "essay," reprinted as it appeared in the magazine:

(The advertising department forgot to sell this page, so rather than run it blank, we fished this contribution out of the wastepaper basket. The author, Marine Sergeant who wisely prefers to remain anonymous, threatens there’s more if you want it. What do you think Readers?)

All newcomers to Okinawa will soon discover that Okinawa is an island in the Pacific Ocean, but this chatty little guide is meant to help all people who come here, and those that live here too, to find and enjoy all the tingling beauties of this lovely place. First of all, it is a fifty-fifty mixture of mud and rock, which is covered with a thick layer of brush, insects, and people. It is a very important island; if it were not here, the people would probably drown.

Not only is it important, it is also interesting, especially when one studies its industries which are cutting grass, selling souvenirs, and painting signs. The last-narned industry, sign-painting, is still in its infancy, but it is growing fast. Also, the quality of the signs is rapidly improving. Optimists predict that some signs may have correct spelling in late1958, but we must wait and see.

From the November 1956 issue of THIS MONTH ON OKINAWA, page 51: "A group of reveler's at the 1955 Shrine Charity Ball, Okinawa's biggest annual social event."

The Islanders believe in the old saying that "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." So they wisely balance their industrious energy with light-hearted play. Sports are extremely popular, and newcomers are invited and encouraged to take part in the fascinating games and hobbies One of the most popular pastimes is the sport of rain watching. It is played by sitting, squatting, or standing at a door or window and watching the rain. It is o thrilling contest of endurance. In the Islandwide tournament last year the contest lasted for three weeks and several new records were established, but they were not considered official since it was discovered that the first-place winner was suffering from rigor mortis and the second place winner of the squatting position had total paralysis. But this year's contest promises to be very thrilling and the newcomer simply must not miss it.

Another sport that will appeal to young and old alike is that of insect collecting, It is not only entertaining, but educational Any number can play. Here's how it is done. Go outside and remain more or less motionless for a moment. In a second you will feel something, probably a sting, bite, scratch, buzz, or crawling sensation. Then slap vigorously, and Presto! you have your collection started already. Good luck!

So welcome to Okinawa. I feel sure that you will learn to love it as much as I do.