News‎ > ‎Okinawa 2013‎ > ‎

1st June

posted Jun 3, 2013, 9:24 PM by Andrew Glover

Uechi Sensei picked us up at 9.30 am to take us to the karate museum, it was a bit of an effort to be up and out but that was my fault! After a shortish drive we were there and Uechi Sensei dropped us off as he had to go back to work.  Most Okinawans work 6 days a week.  The karate museum is in the Dojo of Dr. Hokama Sensei, who is a very lovely man.  He has memorabilia from all over the world and loads of old photos of the Karate Masters of yesteryear.  He has been to South Africa and we had a great chat.  I was most disturbed to hear that people who visited his museum had stolen stuff. How can anyone who calls themselves a Martial Artist do such a thing?  Some total low life had stolen an Isshin Ryu patch! One can be easily bought off the net or even in Gate 2 street! Yet the grub chose to steal a patch that had been given to someone, who is a real gentleman, who is trying to preserve the history of karate for us all!  

After leaving the museum we headed into Naha to go to the World War II caves.  We lucked out with another taxi driver who was clueless!  We told him to take us to Shuri Castle as it was the only land mark that he seemed to know.  This was a win for me as I needed to draw money again.  We were hoping to get an English speaking taxi driver, again no luck, so we got him to drop us off in Naha.  We went for a coffee in Starbucks, not great but better than the coffee I have had so far!  After a bit of questioning we were directed to a tourist Information place, there lovely girl gave us a map to the caves.  We piled into another taxi and this time got to were we wanted. 

The caves were dug out by the Japanese/Okinawans, as three last defence of the Japanese Naval Command.  They were very interesting and it must have been an incredible effort to digging them or.  What happened to the Okinawan people during the American invasion is terrible. They were treated so badly by the Japanese, only to be killed by the Americans who thought they were Japanese!  The amount of munitions that the Americans dropped on Okinawa during the invasion was staggering.  To this day the Americans still occupy 18% of Okinawa.  Which is both a blessing, in that they stimulate the economy, but a curse as the occupy some much of the Island.

We caught a taxi back to the hotel, Adam and I walked down to A&W for lunch and root beer, the place was packed.  We then spent the afternoon packing and relaxing until dinner time, we went to our favourite restaurant one last time.  The waitress was very sad to see us go, but loved the little koala bear Sensei Bob gave here.  The group decision was for one last drink or two at the Karaoke bar, the owners were all smiles to see us, but they fortunatley failed in their attempts to get us to sing!  With many a bow and a few hugs they sent us on our way, they really were quite friendly.