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A Selection of Books and Music on Okinawa
In Association with Amazon.Com
Updated January, 2010

For your convenience, we've compiled a list of books and music. Selecting a link will open a new browser window to, where you can purchase these books. When you are finished browsing or buying from Amazon, close the new window to return to this website. A portion of the proceeds from these items will go to support the organization and website.

Books, Monographs



Allen, Matthew. Identity and Resistance in Okinawa Rowman & Littlefield, 2002.



Barrett, Tony and Rick Tanaka. Okinawa Dreams OK. Berlin: Die-Gestalten-Verlag, 1997.

Great book detailing the complexity of Okinawan life and society. Presented in a user-friendly format that is hip and yet factually packed, this book is like a window on Okinawan society and culture in the face of the ever-present reality of the United States military bases.



Bentley, John R. A Linguistic History of the Forgotten Islands: A Reconstruction of the Proto-Language of the Southern Ryukyus (Languages of Asia) Global Oriental, 2008.



Bhowmik, Davinder L. Writing Okinawa: Narrative acts of identity and resistance (Routledge Studies in Asia's Transformations) Routledge, 2008.



Brandon, Reiko Mochinaga. Textile Art of Okinawa. Honolulu Academy of Arts, 1995.



Coates, David, ed. Shattering the Myth of the Homogenous Society: Minority Issues and Movements in Japan. Berkeley: Japan Pacific Resource Network, 1990.

Hard to find, but a great overview of minority issues in Okinawa.



Denoon, Donald, Gavan McCormack, Mark Hudson, and Tessa Morris-Suzuki (Editors). Multicultural Japan: Palaeolithic to Postmodern (Contemporary Japanese Society). Cambridge University Press, 2001.


Elridge, Robert D. The Origins of the Bilateral Okinawa Problem: Okinawa in Postwar US-Japan Relations, 1945-1952 (East Asia). Garland Publishing, 2001.



Eldridge, Robert D. The Return of the Amami Islands: The Reversion Movement and U.S.-Japan Relations (Studies of Modern Japan). Lexington Books, 2004.



Ethnic Studies Oral History Project and the United Okinawan Association of Hawaii. Uchinanchu: A History of Okinawans in Hawaii. Honolulu: Ethnic Studies Program, University Of Hawaii at Manoa, 1981.

This book has a great introduction that really goes into the history of Okinawa and provides information on the Okinawan diaspora in Hawaii. Of special note are the passages that talk about ethnically divided wage systems that discriminated against Okinawans in Hawaii and the passages that delve into discriminatory experiences that Okinawans experienced in Japanese communities in Hawaii.


Field, Norma. In the Realm of a Dying Emperor/Japan at Century's End. New York: Vintage Books, 1993.

This book is especially good in highlighting minority issues in the context of Japanese Nationalism, with chapters that focus on an Okinawan shopkeeper who burns the Japanese flag, a Japanese Christian woman who refuses to allow her husband's body to be placed in a Shinto shrine, and the Mayor of Nagasaki who argues that the emperor had some blame in World War II. A great read.


Fisch, Arnold G. Military Government In The Ryukyu Islands, 1945-1950 University Press of the Pacific, 2004.




Hein, Laura and Mark Selden. Islands of Discontent: Okinawan Responses to Japanese and American Power (Asian Voices). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2003.




Higa, Tomiko Higa (Author) and Dorothy Britton. The Girl with the White Flag. Oxford University Press, 2003.



Hook, Glenn D. and Richard Siddle. Japan and Okinawa: Structure and Subjectivity. Routledge/Curzon, 2002.




Inoue, Masamichi S. Okinawa And the U.S. Military: Identity Making in the Age of Globalization. Columbia University Press, 2007.




Johnson, Chalmers, ed. Okinawa: Cold War Island. Japan Pacific Research Institute, 1999.

A great book that covers a lot of the key policy issues currently affecting Okinawa, with an emphasis on the continued impacts of the military and the bases on the population. This collection of essays clearly and concisely raises important questions about the rationale surrounding the bases and whether or not we still even need them in the current post-Cold War environment.


Kerr, George. Okinawa: The History of an Island People. Rutland: Charles Tuttle Company, 2000.

This book is the "bible" of English-language information on Okinawan history up to the end of World War II. A definite must have for any respectable library on Okinawa. Originally published in 1952 and recently re-released in a new edition (with new introduction), this is the definitive book on Okinawan history, with a great deal of information on Okinawa's position in relation to China, Japan, and the United States.


Keyso, Ruth Ann and Masahide Ota (Afterword). Women of Okinawa: Nine Voices from a Garrison Island. Cornell University Press, 2000.




Lebra, William P. Okinawan Religion: Belief, Ritual, and Social Structure. University of Hawaii Press, 1986.



Lie, John. Multiethnic Japan. Harvard University Press, 2004.



Molasky, Michael. American Occupation of Japan and Okinawa. Routledge, 1999.



Nagamine, Shoshin. The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do: (Shorin-Ryu). Charles E Tuttle Co, 1998.



Nakasone, Ronald Y. Okinawan Diaspora. University of Hawaii Press, 2002.

Book on Okinawans throughout the world.


Nelson, Christopher T. Dancing with the Dead: Memory, Performance, and Everyday Life in Postwar Okinawa (Asia-Pacific: Culture, Politics, and Society)  Duke University Press, 2009.



The Okinawa Club of America. History of the Okinawans in North America. Los Angeles: Asian American Studies Center, University of California, Los Angeles, 1988.

This book covers information on the Okinawan community in North America with an emphasis on the activities of the Okinawan community in Los Angeles. This book is especially important in documenting the strong connection that existed between the Okinawan Kenjinkai and its sub-groups with the various issues and concerns in Okinawa. A great book in elucidating the nature of the Okinawan diaspora.

      Pearson, Richard. Archaeology of the Ryukyu Islands: A Regional Chronology from 3000 B.C. to the Historic Period. University of Hawaii Press, 1969.



Røkkum, Arne. Nature, Ritual and Society in Japan's Ryukyu Islands. Routledge, 2006.



Sakihara, Mitsugu. Okinawan-English Wordbook: A Short Lexicon of the Okinawan Language With English Definitions And Japanese Cognates University of Hawaii Press, 2006.




Sakihara, Mitsugu. Brief History of Early Okinawa Based on the Omoro Soshi. University of Hawaii Press, 1987.



Sarantakes, Nicholas Evan. Keystone: The American Occupation of Okinawa and U.S.-Japan Relations. Texas A&M University Press, 2001.

His website had a lot of interesting information that filled in the blanks on the U.S. occupation years in Okinawa from 1945-1972.


Sered, Susan Starr. Women of the Sacred Groves: Divine Priestesses of Okinawa. Oxford Univ Press, 1999.

People interested in purchasing this book should be aware of the controversy surrounding this book, as pointed out by a number of concerned scholars. Please be aware that it is paramount to address issues of colonialism and oppression as enacted through the methodology of scholars who seek to deal with issues in Okinawa without fully attempting to grapple with relevant in-language materials at hand.


Smith, Allan. Ryukyuan Culture and Society: A Survey. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1964.



Smits, Richard. Visions of Ryukyu: Identity and Ideology in Early-Modern Thought and Politics. University of Hawaii Press, 1999.

Interesting book detailing the pre-modern philosophical conflicts in the Ryukyus related to their positionality to China, Japan, and to themselves.



Stewart, Frank, and Katsunori Yamazato, eds. Voices from Okinawa: Featuring Three Plays by Jon Shirota  University of Hawaii, 2009.




Suzuki, David and Keibo Oiwa. The Other Japan: Voices Beyond the Mainstream. Fulcrum Publishing, 1999.



Tanji, Miyume. Myth, Protest and Struggle in Okinawa. Routledge, 2006.




Tatsushiro, Oshiro and Higashi Mineo. Okinawa: Two Postwar Novellas (Japan Research Monograph, No.10) Institute of East Asian Studies, 1996.




Wakaizumi, Kei, Swenson-Wright, John (Editor). The Best Course Available: A Personal Account of the Secret U.S.-Japan Okinawa Reversion Negotiations. University of Hawaii Press, 2002.




Watanabe, Akio. The Okinawan Problem: A Chapter in U.S.-Japan Relations. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1970.



Weiner, Michael. Japan's Minorities: The Illusion of Homogeneity. London and New York: Routledge, 1997.

A great recent book detailing the various minorities in Japan, including the Ainu, Burakumin, Koreans, Chinese, Ryukyuans/Okinawans, and Nikkeijin, this book blows the lid off of the fantasy of national uniformity propagated by the Japanese nationalists, revealing the complexity of experiences for minorities in Japan.


Yoshida Kensei. Democracy Betrayed: Okinawa Under U.S. Occupation. Western Washington Univ Center, 2002.




cover   Bob Brosnan and Takashi Hirayasu. Jin Jin/Firefly

Eisa Okinawa

cover   Japan: Folk Songs of Okinawa
cover   Nenes. Akemodoro Unai

Okinawa, Music of Japanese People (series)


cover   Rinken Band. Party

Rough Guide to Okinawa

cover   Shoukichi Kina. The Music Power from Okinawa
cover   Shoukichi Kina. Vol. 2-Peppermint Tea House

Southern Station, FM Okinawa

cover   Various Artists. Okinawa Folk Songs Collection





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