I began this little narrative with a few questions in mind. Why do I even want to do this book? To whom do I
want to address my commentary? What do I have to offer that you may not have already seen or read somewhere
else? Why should you even want to read this?
Hey, Mick! Why do you want to write a book? Because I have some things to share about my experiences on
Okinawa. Iím old and may not be around much longer. Some who know me may miss my subjecting them to
stories and anecdotes about that little island out in the middle of Nowhere that I love so dearly, so this narrative
might serve to pick up where Iíve left off. Maybe we can just say that this is a legacy project. But, no, it transcends
the simplicity of wanting something to be around after Iím an urnful of ashes. I want to reach people who I think
may be on the fence about pursuing their latent curiosity about the great Ryūkyū Kingdom. I hope to stimulate
them a bit and spur them into action. Iíve known so many people during my years on Okinawa who just sat
around and whined about being ďstuck on this rockĒ with ďnothing to doĒ but who never worked up the gumption
or even the curiosity to go out and look for the countless adventures that existed all around them. Now, ten or
twenty, or in some cases forty or fifty years later, I read their lamentations about having never taken advantage
of opportunities while there and how now they want to go back to the islands so that they can see, do, and eat
the things they so fervently wish theyíd have done when they had the chance. Itís a pity that most of those who
wish they had, will never do so.
So then, to answer the second question, who am I trying to reach, I would include those people for sure but I
think there are many others who could use a bit of a nudge. For example, folks who are currently living on island
but have yet to get out and about. For those who have just begun to get out and about, I hope to give them some
inspiration and maybe some guidance on where to go, what to see and, of course, what I think are great things to
eat! I have my favorites but would never presume to tell anyone whatís the best, or whereís the best places for truly
adventuresome sight-seeing or dining. Those are decisions made by each person for themselves and what they
deem to be the best is a very personal thing. But for gosh-sakes, at least get out there and try a bit of everything!
There are folks who once lived there and want to go back. A lot of them are discouraged by what theyíve read
about how the island ďjust ainít the sameĒ as when they were there in the 1950s, Ď60s, or even eight years ago! Sure,
it has changed, but so has your home town, my home town, everyoneís home town. Only the most remote, and
probably most unexciting places have remained unchanged. I believe that in each and every one of those changed
places, if you look hard enough, and if you ask enough questions of the locals, you can find pieces of the past that
are still alive and well. I will be happy to know that Iíve reached some people who have never been to Okinawa
but are considering it for a vacation adventure. After reading more about some of the places to go and a bit of the
history associated with those places, they might be more inclined to decide that itís well worth making the trip.
Knowing some of the history before seeing a place
makes for a much more rewarding experience. Itís one thing
to be at a particular location, to see and admire what it has to offer on its surface, and to take a few photos, but I
believe that the experience will be much more fulfilling if you have a handle on the history of what youíre seeing.
The more you can immerse yourself in Okinawaís history the greater the appreciation and reward. In that respect,
this book offers you such an opportunity.
I am far from being an expert of any sort but do hope to share what little knowledge I might have with you and
hopefully Iíll stimulate the inquisitive nature you possess. If I can spark your curiosity and whet your appetite to
learn more about Okinawa then my mission will have been accomplished.
I have included links to photo albums and videos of most of the places Iíve visited during my four most recent
trips back to Okinawa. I hope that youíll take time to view them. Itís good to read about a place before going
and there are many resources available for doing just that. I believe that it will be so much more rewarding and
pleasurable though if I can give you that little extra something to help instill a more comprehensive understanding
of and a greater appreciation for the experience.
Iíve included hundreds of videos to complement my writing and I do recognize that it may be cumbersome for
you if you have the print edition of my book. I know that youíll have to manually type in the URL for each of my
offerings but I hope that youíll find it worth your time and energy to do so. If you have the eBook edition then
itíll be just a tap away. In either case, please enjoy the opportunities. I think that itís important for me to mention
that I have not monetized any of my YouTube videos and I do not plan to do so in the future. So, rest assured
that Iíll make not one penny when I invite you to see my videos. PLEASE NOTE: In April 2021, I noticed that
ads have been appearing in my YouTube videos. I have not monetized my videos and cannot get an explanation
from YouTube as to why the ads appear. If someone is being paid for those, believe me, it ainít me!
While recognizing that some readers who are familiar with Okinawa might find it annoying, or may even accuse
me of mansplaining, I have included some explanatory details for the benefit of those who have not been to Okinawa
and are not familiar with nuances that are well-known to veteran Okinawaphiles.
What I offer with this book is not a story per se nor is it a typical travelogue. I want to give you my first-person
account of some of the things Iíve done, places Iíve gone, and people Iíve met and cherish. Along those lines, be
prepared to read a lot of I, me, and my as you travel through these last five trips that Iíve made. Just for fun, Iíve
counted how many times Iíve used the word ďIĒ: 4,293; ďIíveĒ: 128; ďmeĒ: 594; and ďmyĒ: 1,130 times! So, yeah,
itís kinda all about me Ė ooops! Make that 595. Kiddiní Ė itís all about and for you!