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October 20, 2016 •



ear up for a ghoulish time on the island. While Halloween is a relatively new holiday in Japan (adopted from the West and based primarily around costumes and candy), Japan has its fair share of scary. Some of Hollywood’s most blood-curdling films were adapted from the Japanese, like Ju-on: The Grudge and Ringu (check out the originals). In this issue of Okinawa Living Weekly, we’ve covered the most frightening affairs on Okinawa—often labeled one of the most haunted places in the world. Learn about some of Japan’s superstitions including crossing paths with a black cat and more


in “Culture Corner.” If you’re into the costume contest or party scene, enter the annual Mihama Costume Contest. We love a well-executed costume, which is why we made the contest our “Pick of the Week.” MCCS is also plotting to make your Halloween spook-tacular. Join the MCCS Tours+ Spooky Sites Tour to learn about some of the terrifying tales of Okinawa (details on page 11). The Single Marine Program has two haunted houses, one on MCAS Futenma and one on Camp Kinser (held in the mortuary). And, finally, from a Thriller Party to a Pandemonium, howl it out on the dance floor at an MCCS Club. To see what

Presenting Jimmy Buffett | 3 EFMP Fun Day Friday | 3 Culture Corner: Black Cats in Japan | 5 Japanese Phrase of the Week | 5

"Some of Hollywood’s most blood-curdling films were adapted from the Japanese..." party your local club is throwing, check out page 8 or visit

Pick of the Week: Costume Contest | 7 SMP Haunted House | 9 Off-Base Events | 11 Semper Fit Events | 11

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Presenting Jimmy Buffett

t 69 years old, Jimmy Buffett shows no sign of slowing down. Neither does his evergrowing fan base of over 28,000 registered Parrotheads. Tickets for his concerts still sell out in minutes; his October 18 concert in San Diego sold out in a record-setting 2 minutes at $159 a head. Jimmy Buffet will bring his signature sound of “Caribbean rock n’ roll” to Okinawa on Friday, October 28 at 3:30 p.m. (doors open at 2 p.m.) This FREE concert at the Camp Foster Flea Market area is open to all ages. Get your Jimmy Buffett merchandise and food and drink from the Jambalaya Tent, Hickory House, Island-Style Burgers, Margarita Tent and Kanpai Lounge. Lawn chairs are permitted but capacity is limited, so arrive early. For details, visit mccsokinawa.entertainment or call 645-5821.


From top to bottom: Courtesy of Jimmy Buffett, Phase4Photography/


CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER | Jim Kassebaum MANAGING EDITOR | Caylee Reid ART DIRECTOR | Catherine Newquist CULTURAL RESEARCH SPECIALIST | Ayako Kawamitsu GRAPHIC ARTS MANAGER | Henry Ortega GRAPHIC DESIGNERS | Margie Shimabukuro, Lisa Miyagi, Hector Nieves EDITOR-IN-CHIEF | Mike Daley EDITOR | Ryan Anastoplus DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER | Thomas Alan Smilie AD/SPONSORSHIP MANAGER | Roy Forster AD SALES | Yoshihiro Shinzato, Aya Chilcote, Yoriko Yamashiro, Tomoko Taylor, Lisa Hicks, Carina Fils-Julien DISTRIBUTION | Gideon Juko, Kelli Kreider MARKETING ACCOUNTS MANAGER | Andrew Menges ACCOUNTS & RESEARCH | Marissa DeSmet, Ashley Herring, Kristen Wong, Katherine Melrose, Jenessa Reutov, Allison Dixon BROADCAST | Kathlene Millette, Gabriel Archer, Emi Komiya Questions? Comments? Please e-mail To advertise in Okinawa Living Weekly, call 645-2245, fax 645-0975, or email MCCS is not responsible for designing and editing outside ads. No Department of Defense, U.S. Marine Corps or Marine Corps Community Services endorsement of commercial advertisers or sponsors implied.

EFMP Fun Day Friday

or young children, play accomplishes many things. It’s how they learn. It’s how they bond. It’s how they interact with the world. For these reasons, incorporating play into your child’s life is an important factor in his or her growth. Seems like a charmed life, when your main priority is playing. But that’s one of the benefits of being a parent—playing becomes your priority too, because who else is your little baby going to play with? Babies have no friends. At the Exceptional Family Member Program’s (EFMP) Fun Day Friday event, children are invited to do what they know best—play! This afterschool special event on November 4 will be a fun-filled day with giant tictac-toe, parachute games, and other activities. Fun Day Friday will be at the Camp Foster EFMP (Bldg. 495) from 5 to 6 p.m. Call EFMP at 6459237 or visit for details.

This publication printed with

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5 | OKINAWA LIVING WEEKLY | October 20, 2016

japanese phrase


of the week


Kyaaaaaa! Ahhhhhhh!

Clockwise from the top left: Maridav/, Marsy/

For details about FREE Japanese language classes, please call Marine & Family Programs-Resources at 645-2104/2106.

Black Cats in Japan

n general, Asia is full of superstitions. In Japan, numbers are a big deal. The number four (shi) is a homonym for death, and so it is seen as unlucky. Nine is also not so lucky (it sounds like the kanji character for suffering—ku). Like in the states, many hospitals and hotels will avoid having floors or rooms bearing these numbers. They continue with numbers 13 and 43, plus certain ages for women and men are considered particularly unfavorable. The superstitions don’t stop at numbers—if you see a funeral hearse, tuck your thumb in your fist. This is because, in Japanese, the word thumb means “parent-finger”. You hide your thumb to protect your parents. (Similar to “if you step on a crack, you break your momma’s back.”) There are many more actions that bring about bad luck: step-

ping on a tatami mat’s cloth border, breaking a comb or sandal strap, writing someone’s name in red and trimming your nails at night. There is a positive side, too. Good luck comes in the form of spotting a spider in the morning, and, surpris-

ingly, crossing paths with a black cat. Many of Japan’s superstitions are tall-tales to make children behave, but others are taken seriously and intertwined in religion, spirituality, culture and history.

If you have any burning questions about Japanese culture, please send them to  

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7 | OKINAWA LIVING WEEKLY | October 20, 2016

getting there



American Village

For official rules and details or to sign up for the contest, visit

Costume Contest

alloween is one of the big three imports of western holidays (alongside Christmas and Valentine’s Day) celebrated in Japan. Japan doesn’t have any of the tradition and folklore of Halloween like we do in the west. Although one can argue that Halloween is not a holiday heavily steeped in “meaning” but more a night of fun with friends, Halloween does trace back to roots full of history and cultural significance. In Japan, however, Halloween is purely about dressing up and having a good time. The holiday is not about producing scares and it does not have religious ties. Costumes and candy are as deep as it goes. You’ll see many local businesses decorating their shops with orange and black, plastic jack-o’-lanterns and white paper ghouls. Restaurants might have special menu items, and you can usually find Halloween flavors and themed sundaes at ice cream shops.

Mihama Carnival Park in American Village is Halloween’s biggest street party on Okinawa. This year the costume contest is at Sunset Beach on October 29 from 3 to 5 p.m. Registration is required to participate as space is limited. Children

From top to bottom: heydk\, Mike Daley


Visit American Village for their Halloween decorations, costume contest and trick-or-treating.

can trick-or-treat at Mihama American Village shops with a Halloween sign. The official “party” begins at noon. There will also be a parade from 2 to 3 p.m. This event is open to everyone island-wide.

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Clockwise: nito/, darkbird/

MCAS Futenma Bldg. 424 October 21, 22, 28–31 6 to 11 p.m.

hen it comes to paying for or seeking out experiences we generally avoid in day-to-day life, haunted houses are a phenomenon that rank high. Pay to feel scared? That’s up there with paying to run a marathon, or going to Burger King for lunch. But in either of these cases, what you’re ultimately paying for is a test of your courage—fight to keep going with your eyes open or clench them shut and bolt—and a measurable way of testing your limitations. They say conquering your fears is the best thing you can do. If you decide to make your fateful showdown with fear at the MCAS Futenma Haunted House, it won’t be as easy. Your experience will cling to your memories and follow you home. Then it will sit on the foot of your bed and overstay its welcome. The Single Marine

Sponsored by Boingo


SMP Haunted House

Program’s Haunted House is not for the faint of heart, pregnant women or children under 12 (unless accompanied by an adult).

There is a $10 no-return entrance fee to support SMP. For more information, visit mccsokinawa. com/smp or call 636-1015.

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adventure begins here Spooky Sites (North) October 21, 6–10 p.m. Adults $20, Children (3–11) $13, (under 3) FREE Get into the spirit of Halloween on our haunted excursion. We’ll visit well-known spooky sites in Northern Okinawa. How brave are you?

Spooky Sites (South) October 28, 6–10 p.m. Adults $20, Children (3–11) $13, (under 3) FREE Get into the spirit of Halloween on our haunted excursion. We’ll visit well-known spooky sites in southern Okinawa. How brave are you?

Shishimai Festival* October 23, 5–9 p.m. Adults $20, Children (3–11) $13, (under 3) FREE Shishimai is translated as “lion dance” with magical properties and the power to repel evil spirits. The shishimai festival is performed by Okinawans and also a group from mainland Japan. Enjoy this once-a-year event at Agena Bull Ring.

Shuri Castle Festival* October 30, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Adults $23, Children (3–11) $16, (under 3) FREE Tour this ancient 15th century castle, once home of the 19 Ryukyu kings and the only fully restored castle on Okinawa. The Dynasty Parade includes the king, queen and sapposhi (Chinese envoys) in colorful costumes.

*Bring yen for additional food, drinks and/or purchases. For more information, contact MCCS Tours+: Camp Foster 646-3502 | Camp Hansen 623-6344 | Camp Kinser 637-2744

off-baseevents get out and explore

All Okinawa Industrial Fair October 21–23, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Onoyama Park, Naha City FREE

Proud sponsor of MCCS Youth Sports

Athletics/Adult Sports

Thomas Alan Smilie, SeanPavonePhoto/


Aquatics 645-3180 Courtney Ironworks 622-9261/7297 Futenma Semper Fit 636-2672 Gunners Fitness Center 645-3985/2235 Hansen House of Pain 623-5558/4831 Health Promotion 645-3484/3910 Kinser Fitness Center 637-1869/1114 Schwab Power Dome 625-2654/2442 Taiyo Golf Club 622-2004 Tsunami SCUBA 645-9500 Youth Sports 645-3533/3534

Omoromachi Autumn Festival October 22, noon–7 p.m. Shintoshin Park, Naha City FREE

Nakagusuku Gosamaru Festival October 22–23, 3–9 p.m. Nakagusuku Castle Ruins, Nakagusuku Village FREE

upcoming semperfitevents Northern Commanders’ Cup Softball Tournament October 16 November 4–6 Camp Courtney Ironworks Register at any MCCS Fitness Center by 1 p.m. on October 31. This FREE event is open to eligible units on Camps Courtney, Hansen and Schwab. Tournament rules and lane assignments will be emailed to each participant. Awards will be given to the top two teams. Details: 622-7297.

Open Racquetball Tournament November 5–6 MCAS Futenma Semper Fit Register at any MCCS Fitness Center by 1 p.m. on October 31 for $10 or onsite for $15. A mandatory participants’ brief will be held on the day of the event at 9:45 a.m. This event is open to participants island-wide. Awards will be given to the top three winners. Details: 622-7297.

classof theweek Pilates This hour-long class is great for conditioning, toning and strengthening your entire body, targeting your abs and back. Camps Courtney, Foster and Schwab For more information and a full schedule, visit

Okinawa Living Weekly