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NATSUKASHII: Uchinaa nu umui / Old Times: Reflections of Okinawa offers you an
extensive up close and personal experience as you follow him, day by day, throughout
his last five trips to Okinawa. He details what it's like to live and play on the island by
way of reading his stories that are complemented by historical details that are woven
into his dialogue as well as links to hundreds of his videos that allow you to accompany
him on adventures from underwater caves to the majestic top of Rainmaker Mountain.
Ride along as Mick takes you on windshield tours along the Okinawa Expressway and
down country roads of remote outlying islands. Sail with him as he ferries to Ieshima
or slog through the mud with him at a rice field festival. Traipse along through tall grass
or laze at a chimujiruban.

This book will get you as close as you can get to the real Okinawa without actually being there -
which is kinda nice now since COVID has shut the door on vacation travel to Japan.

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!

Enjoy reading a few select pages:
PLEASE NOTE: The following pages are PDF representations of the publisher's proof.
The print in the actual book will be much clearer and consistent. The AuthorHouse logo
will not appear on the pages of the book.

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Well, wha'dya think? Did you enjoy that? I hope so.
If you did, imagine having all 422 pages of the adventures!

Send me your thoughts or opinions

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