Beyond symbolic icons such as limestone castles, centenarian citizens, the three-stringed sanshin and shisa (Ryukyu guardian lion dogs) perched on tiled rooftops, Japan’s southernmost archipelago has a distinct culture rooted in the deep history of the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Capt. Daniel Boman, Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing (CPRW) 11 received the traditional salutes as command of the squadron passed uninterrupted from Cmdr. Frank C. Sanchez Jr., to Cmdr. Brian K. Blaschke.
Being a new Airman can be tough, especially when your first duty station is overseas. With the initial hardship that comes from being so far away from home for the first time in one’s life, paired with tackling a new skill set at a new job, finding time to make new friends can be a challenge.
Called “hinomaru” (circle of the sun) or “nisshoki” (sun-mark flag), the national flag of Japan is a white rectangle with a red circle in the center. The flag has embodied Japan’s other name, "The Land of the Rising Sun."
I picked her up at Norfolk Airport, stowing her carpet-bag suitcase and walking stick in the back of our minivan. Mabel was 86, and after traveling all the way from England to Virginia, I figured she’d need a good rest once we got home.
In midsummer, many step out in yukata, or summer kimono, and gather in parks which are colorfully decorated with lanterns – to eat, drink and perform traditional dances to the beat of Japanese folk music.