We are excited to introduce our new art collection called 12 Months of Okinawa. This collection is comprised of digital artworks, each of which features a particular month in a year on Okinawa. Our goal with this collection was to capture the essence and uniqueness of Okinawa in each month of the year.
Through the use of vibrant colors and intricate designs, each artwork tells a story of the season and the cultural significance of that time of year in Okinawa. From the cherry blossoms of March to the Eisa parade of August, every piece in this collection showcases the beauty of Okinawa throughout the year.
We hope that this collection can bring a piece of Okinawa to those who may not have had the chance to visit this wonderful place. Let’s get started.
This is the first piece in the collection, completed in December 2021. The drawing features the sunrise over the Katsuren peninsula in Uruma city. The Katsuren peninsula was the home of Amawari, a lord in central Okinawa before the island was united. Although Amawari was eventually defeated, he was known as the youngest and most ambitious among all the three lords of his time. His plaza, Katsuren castle, is now a popular spot for locals to welcome the first sunrise of the year on New Year’s Day.
This artwork was displayed in OkiTen 2023 – Okinawa’s largest annual art exhibition.
February is a great time for whale watching in Okinawa as humpback whales migrate from the north to the south, stopping in the waters around Okinawa. You can witness these majestic creatures up close on whale watching tours available in various locations such as the Kerama Islands and Miyako-jima. They often breach, tail slap, and sing, creating life-changing experiences that connect you with nature and the wonders of the ocean. If you’ve been on a whale-watching tour in Okinawa, this drawing will transport you back to the heart-pounding moment of encountering the largest animal on earth.
As the month of March approaches, the people of Okinawa eagerly await the return of spring. Gone are the days of the blue, rainy winter, replaced by the warmth and brightness of the sun shining across the island. The natural beauty of the land is accompanied by the sweet melody of a man practicing sanshin on the top of his pickup truck, creating a unique harmony that resonates throughout Okinawa. Can you feel the gentle breeze carrying the sound of his sanshin to your ears? It is as if the very land itself is being awakened by the beautiful music, and in turn, the music becomes a part of the land’s essence, living on and thriving in Okinawa.
In this drawing featuring April on Okinawa, a lady is depicted waving goodbye to the sun. She seems to be enjoying her short ride around the Bise Fukugi forest, taking in the beautiful scenery and the blooming flowers that mark the arrival of spring in full swing on the island. As the lady looks towards the ocean, one can almost imagine the island of IE that lies beyond, home to the annual Okinawa lily festival.
May is an exciting time to be in Okinawa, as it marks the annual Hari festival, also known as the dragon boat festival. Taking place in Naha, the festival is a vibrant celebration of traditional culture and sporting prowess. The event features thrilling dragon boat racing, with teams from across the island competing for the grand title. The paddlers dress in a combination of modern and traditional festive outfits, adding to the visual spectacle of the race.
In preparation for the race, each boat is carefully repainted and tuned up, ensuring that they are in prime condition for the competition. On land, food vendors and game booths are at their best to keep the crowd well-fed and entertained throughout the festivities. With so much delicious food and exciting games on offer, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the Hari festival.
One of the most iconic sights at the festival is the Koinobori, or carp streamers, which fly through the air under the hot sun. These brightly colored streamers are a symbol of the energy and vitality of children, and their presence at the festival adds an extra layer of excitement and joy to the occasion.
In Okinawa, the sea wall is a popular destination for locals and tourists during the summer months. It offers protection to the shoreline and is a hub of activity. Friends and families gather here to catch up and enjoy quality time, while divers use it as a platform for their underwater adventures. The tetrapods, large concrete structures designed to absorb waves and prevent erosion, are a unique feature of the sea wall. Although some find them unattractive, they are popular among those who appreciate their playful appearance.
The ferris wheel in American Village, while no longer in operation, holds a special place in the hearts of those who have fond memories of riding it or spending time underneath it. It was a symbol of fun and excitement and its absence is a reminder of the passage of time and the changing landscape of Okinawa.
As you head north on the Okinawa Freeway and tall buildings start to fade behind you, you’ll suddenly come across a quiet neighborhood almost hidden by trees and plants. At the end of the land lies the emerald Okinawa Sea. It’s serene and tranquil, creating a beautiful and peaceful scene. Unfortunately, we’re often moving too fast to stop and enjoy it. This drawing captures my favorite moment living on Okinawa, giving me a sense of peace that can’t be found anywhere else.
August is a significant month on Okinawa because of the Obon festival. This festival is a time to honor and remember deceased ancestors, and it is celebrated across Okinawa with various events and activities. One of the most notable events is the Eisa parade, which takes place all over the island and features traditional Okinawan drumming and dancing. Eisa teams are organized by neighborhood associations, with senior members coaching the younger members. Participating in Eisa is a popular and important activity that teaches young people in the community about contribution and leadership.
When the drumbeat starts, neighbors from all over the block voluntarily gather along the street to show their support for their Eisa team. Eisa is a rope that ties people on the island together, regardless of age or background.
September is coming to a close on Okinawa, marking the end of summer. It’s the last month with good enough weather to enjoy outdoor activities on the island. In this drawing, a couple and their dog have reached the end of their hiking trail. Unlike the Pacific Ocean, the East China Sea in the fall appears to have a blue-green tone at this time of year due to the weakened sunlight, indicating that Okinawa is about to enter the winter season. However, the best is yet to come. Winter is a time for the ecosystem around the island to rest with less tourism. This means we can enjoy the paradise Okinawa again next summer.
October, November, and December designs are on the way. Sign up for our email newsletter to get notified when they are ready.
Art prints are exclusively sold at the Ohana Community Shop in Okinawa and on our website (ship to US address only) . If you wish to order a custom size that suits your space, we offer on demand printing service in Japan and the USA. Send us a message on Facebook or Instagram to initiate your order.