Each year since 2018, I have created two sets of Christmas ornaments inspired by Okinawa’s beautiful nature, rich culture, and friendly people. For 2021, I am creating a brand new series called Seasons with five original designs – Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and another design devoted to the people of Okinawa called Us.
In this design, I want to illustrate the morning in spring when the sun rises from the horizon of the Pacific. I once woke up at 4:00 a.m. in the morning to capture this view at the top of Katsuren castle ruin in Uruma city. It is not as life-changing as watching the sunrise from Mount Fuji, but if you live in Okinawa this is the second-best thing.
This one is for the beautiful and almost endless summer in Okinawa. Without many tourists on the island due to the travel ban, the sun brings many curious sea lives to the surface. The pandemic gives Okinawa’s coastline a much-needed break to restore her energy. We are lucky to share a wonderful island with such beautiful neighbors. 2021’s summer is already behind us, but let the sun continue to shine in your home through this ornament.
The iconic Shuri Castle was burned to the ground on October 31, 2019. Two years later in 2022, the Okinawan government announced the Shuri Castle restoration project to be completed in 2026. This Shuri Castle’s second rebuild, the previous one was in 1992, almost 40 years after the war. If you visit Shuri Castle today, it is a sad site. Like a fallen giant with scars all over, yet she is on the way to recovery. When the hibiscus flowers bloom again on the hill of Shuri, we shall see the return of the red giant.
Okinawa’s beauty is not only in the summer. Winter in Okinawa is spectacular, at night. Winter in Okinawa is all about illumination, and the best illumination of all is in American Village. Okinawa’s winter is rainy and windy, millions of lightbulbs come to rescue. Together with a mountain of Christmas decors, they turn Chatan into a tropical winter wonderland.
While I was creating the book Happiness in Okinawa is…, I often ask fans what is about Okinawa that makes them happy to get inspiration. The answer I get the most often is not the breathtaking ocean, nor the good food, but the people of Okinawa. Okinawans are known for their longevity and positive attitude. Indeed, Okinawans celebrate everything and they turn everything into a celebration no matter how insignificant. The togetherness creates the bond that makes a strong and supportive community everyone can lean on. What is so great about Okinawa’s natural environment if there is no one to share with? The people of Okinawa are what many of us truly miss about the island, the fifth design of this year’s collection is a tribute to us, all of us, who are fortunate enough to share this island.
These ornaments are now available in-store and online while stocks last. There will only be 400 sets available worldwide. No reprint. You are on Okinawa, check our latest update updates on Facebook and Instagram to find out about availability and store locations. If you are overseas and would like to place an order, follow the link below to order online.