What’s the secret to longevity in Okinawa, Japan?

More people are looking to Okinawa in Japan for a well-rounded holiday… and tips for longevity.

The writer (right) with folks from Ogimi Village, the world-famous Longevity Village in Okinawa. Photos: LEESAN

 

Twenty-four years ago, Miyazawa Kazufumi composed and wrote Shima Uta (Island Song), a sanshin (three-stringed instrument) performance accompanied by Natsukawa Rimi’s vocals. Thanks to its relaxing melody, sad yet rhythmic lyrics and its sense of “lazy leisure”, Shima Uta became a beloved folk song in southern Japan.

Around the same period, Li Manting wrote the Chinese words to Hua Xin (Flower Heart) which was composed by (Okinawa folk legend) Shoukichi Kina. It was sung by (HK pop star) Wakin Chau. The song shook the Chinese world, unexpectedly initiating the “Okinawa heat flow”, and spurred the idea of going to Okinawa to find love.

Okinawa is part of the Ryukyu Islands, a chain of islands that sits between the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea. Perhaps the waves of the East China Sea swept island tribes from the Philippines many years ago to the Okinawa Islands, making this the “root” of the big island?

 

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