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HIGA BROTHERS PRODUCTIONS: Making Reality from Fantasy ISSUE #212 OCTOBER 2015


contents OCTOber 2015

The Way of Ultraman 8 What’s 40 meters tall, weighs 35,000 tons, is 20,000 years old, made entirely of light and hails from the planet Ultra? The Japanese superhero and cultural icon known as Ultraman, of course!


This nightmarish rabbit is the creation of the Higa brothers. See more of their work on p. 20.

PHOTO ESSAY: 20 Higa Brothers Productions The Higa Brothers were inspired to enter the field of stop-motion model animation and special effects makeup by the works of movie-magic legends David W. Allen and Ray Harryhausen.

TSUNAMI SCUBA 49 Diving the USS Emmons For all that you can read about the USS Emmons, nothing can really prepare you for the incredible experience of actually seeing the old ship resting on the bottom in 110 to 130 feet of water.


TOURS PLUS 51 Explore Sapporo This trip has something for the whole family. From ice sculptures and snow activities, soaking in Sapporo’s famous hot springs and of course indulging in the local delicacies. At Sapporo, it’s easy to fill your days with activity no matter what your interests.

MSJ 28 Exploring the Inexplicable Japan is home to numerous folktales, myths and legends…many of which are perfect for All Hallows’ Eve

FOOD & HOSPITALITY 53 LifeJuice Cafe Enjoy delicious rejuvenation at the nearest LifeJuice Cafe—brand new smoothie and juice bars opening soon inside fitness centers on Camps Foster, Courtney, Hansen and Schwab.

LIVING AT LARGE L.I.N.K.S for Kids…Family Care Plan

RESTAURANT REVIEW 40 E&C Turkish Kebab Discover a cultural and culinary gem tucked away in a quiet corner of Hamby in Chatan. INSIDEMCCS QUEST FOR HEALTH 45 Breast Cancer Awareness The American Cancer Society estimates that 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer will occur in 2015 among American women. TAIYO GOLF Tournament Play 47 At some point, almost every golfer sets a goal to play in a golf tournament. Here are some tips to compete at the best of your ability.


MARINE & FAMILY PROGRAMS-RESOURCES 57 Ace That Interview People spend a lot of time looking for the right job and preparing a resume, but what happens when it’s time for the interview? To ace that interview, you must be prepared to set yourself apart from the competition. MARINE CORPS FAMILY TEAM BUILDING 59 Marine Corps 101 L.I.N.K.S. provides spouses with a positive environment to acquire knowledge and develop the skills to successfully meet the challenges of the Marine Corps lifestyle. EDUCATION & CAREER SERVICES 61 Heathcare Education Have you always dreamed of a degree in a healthcare field? Are you left wondering how you might be able to accomplish that goal while living overseas? child & youth 63 Emotional Intelligence

Thomas Alan smilie


mensôre “Welcome “ to Okinawa Living


Photo Courtesy of Higa Brothers Productions

And <Pow!> and <Boom!> and <Crash!>. You may have already figured out that this is a special issue of Okinawa Living Magazine if you have judged our book by our cover. This month we will “celebrate” Halloween with costumes (rumor has it that the island’s Exchanges were selling full-body-movierealistic Star Wars Stormtrooper regalia for several hundreds of dollars), showers of Hershey’s, Meiji or Morinaga chocolates as well as a healthy dose of chilly thrills. This month MCCS will hold another kind of celebration—which also has deep ties to costumes and thrills—Comic Con Okinawa 2015, which will be happening October 17 beginning at 10 a.m. at Camp Foster’s Fieldhouse, Community Center Performance Auditorium and the Ocean Breeze. A mecca for comics, anime, manga, science fiction, fantasy and horror aficionados and more, Comic Con 2015 will feature guest appearances by voice actors Sean Schemmel (Goku) and Chris Sabat (Vegeta) from the famed Dragon Ball anime and Justin Cook (the man with 101 voices), illustrator Yuji Kaida, special effects makeup artist Screaming Mad George, the Higa brothers (whose work is featured on the cover and in our photo essay beginning on p. 20) as well as many others. Also at the Comic Con, sponsors will be offering prizes and giveaways—including over 15,000 FREE comics up for grabs including Action Comics, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and more from DC Comics as well as Fight Club, Street Fighter, The Smurfs, Sponge Bob and tons of other titles from Diamond Comics. Prizes include autographed special editions comics, DVD sets, overnight stays at resort hotels and tons more. This month’s issue has much in store in the form of chills and thrills including work of the aforementioned Higa Brothers Productions. Also this month, learn more about the titanic (as in 40-meter-tall) cultural superhero icon known as Ultraman and meet a few of the darker and scarier Okinawan and Japanese cultural icons in Exploring the Inexplicable. Not all screams, scares and cosplay, the October issue also features a bevy of valuable information on fun things to do— such as diving the USS Emmons in 110+ feet of water, competing in a golf tournament, acing a job interview and more! As always, we thank you for picking up this issue of Okinawa Living Magazine, now time to turn the page and let your journey begin! 

Mike Daley

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Okinawa Living Magazine




from the ICE Program and Facebook

CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER Jim Kassebaum MANAGING EDITOR Mike Daley GRAPHIC ARTS MANAGER Henry C. Ortega okinawa living ART DIRECTORS Margie Shimabukuro Kelli Davis

the lunch time HITT class on Wednesdays. Faith Martin (MCCS Semper Fit, Health Itheseattend Promotion) was the best and most knowledgeable instructor that I have had going to classes. She was able to show and explain the finer points of all the exercises

while motivating the group. I hope we continue to see this type of expertise out of the instructors. She should definitely be recognized for her excellence and devotion to the Marine Corps community. She is a key attribute to your organization.

–via ICE

WRITER/EDITOR Ryan Anastoplus PHOTOGRAPHER Thomas Alan Smilie GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Lisa Miyagi Hector Nieves Corrinne McKenna Catherine Newquist CULTURAL RESEARCH SPECIALIST Ayako Kawamitsu ADVERTISING SALES & SPONSORSHIP MANAGER Roy Forster ADVERTISING SALES & SPONSORSHIP TEAM Yoshihiro Shinzato Yoriko Yamashiro Aya Chilcote Carina Fils-Julien Lisa Hicks Michael Johnson DISTRIBUTION Gideon Juko Sho Vivas Marketing ACCOUNTs & Research Manager Andrew Menges

What time is the Adult Cosplay Contest for Comic Con? Is this indoors? Also, what are the rules? – via Facebook The cosplay contest will start at 6 p.m. and will be held inside the Community Center on Camp Foster. The rules and regulations along with more Comic Con information can be found at – MCCS Consumer Relations My family did the summer reading program at the Camp Courtney Library. Going to the Courtney Library is like coming home every time we go because they always greet us by name and go above and beyond in service. I have never been to a library that does so much for their customers. Not only does the staff make the library look great, they have as much fun as everyone else. Thank you Courtney Library, you’re all the best. – via ICE With all the new MCCS clubs and restaurants around Okinawa, it would be helpful to have the menus posted in other locations so we have an idea of what is available. – via ICE

Marketing ACCOUNTs & Research TEAM Katherine Melrose Amanda Bakun Megan Milovich Kayla Christen Jennifer Dowd Jenessa Reutov

Thank you for your suggestion! All of our menus are posted online at mccsokinawa. com/clubs. You will also find restaurant locations, hours, contact information, various specials as well as weekly events. –MCCS Consumer Relations

BROADCAST Team Victor Mercado Kathlene Millette Gabriel Archer

I brought my vehicle in for some routine maintenance at the Hansen Typhoon Motors and the shop was incredibly helpful. They went above and beyond, and it’s incredible how affordable the services are. They’re very easy to work with. Thank you! – via ICE

I came to the Hansen Education Center looking for assistance in signing up for TA and college courses. I had no idea where to start or even what college I wanted to attend. The staff was very helpful at pointing me in the right direction. Mrs. Sam Siemer was especially helpful. I would like to thank her for answering all of my tedious questions both in person and on the phone after I left. She even followed up with me to make sure I’m getting everything I need before starting classes. Thank you. – via ICE This comment is regarding one of Tsunami SCUBA’s dive instructors, Noorin Najmi Nawi. I signed up for a review course as I was hesitant and nervous to get back into the ocean. I was teamed up with Noorin and she was amazing! She gave me all the attention I needed and patiently worked on the skills I was most nervous about. She cared about making sure I was confident and comfortable being in the water and gave me all the time I needed to get that accomplished. She is an amazing person, a great asset to the Tsunami and MCCS team, and I am very glad I went through Tsunami SCUBA for my dive review! Also, the staff that helped me check out my gear was very knowledgeable and helpful. – via ICE The outstanding experience my family and I had during our visit compelled me to write praise for the staff at Plaza Pool. First of all, we were greeted warmly upon entering the building. As we entered the locker rooms to transition to the pool area, I was absolutely impressed beyond expectations regarding the cleanliness, tidiness, and simple (yet pleasant) decor of the facility. As we moved out to the pool area, the same impression carried over. Moreover, we were greeted by Maria Porto-Mollinedo (Semper Fit Aquatics), who noted immediately that we were first-time visitors. She assisted

us with an overview of the pool rules and helped us settle in to our recreation time. I personally witnessed a staff member check the water quality twice during our two-hour visit. Our experience at Plaza Pool stands out above the rest. The diligent leadership, respectful and capable staff, and meticulous management all work to create an exceptional MCCS facility. This place is a gem. – via ICE I would like to organize an Okinawa Battle Sites tour for my platoon and possibly my entire company during October. Is this something MCCS is able to assist with? – via Facebook Yes, MCCS Tours+ is happy to assist you with organizing a Battle Sites tour for your command. Tours+ provides up to two tours buses and each bus includes a battlefield historian tour guide. The two buses can seat up to 120 patrons. The tour typically lasts 8 hours and includes a lunch break. For more information, please contact Tours+ at 646-3502 or email –MCCS Consumer Relations Once again, (the Pet Plunge at McTureous 25M Pool was) a great event! For the third year in a row my dog had a blast. Thank you so much for putting this on! And thank you for the photos – they are great! –via Facebook


ICE Program & Facebook Let us know how we can better serve you or thank us for a job well-done. Go to and click on the ICE link at the bottom of the homepage or find us on Facebook to share feedback. Comments on this page may be edited for clarity or length.

livingatlarge Got a plan? The Family Care Plan is a set of instructions designed by the family for the family that should be developed whether you expect to be deployed or not. Required for all Marines with dependents, these instructions include a plan for dependent support and care should the other member responsible for dependents be unavailable. A Family Care Plan is very important for all families, and is especially critical for single parents and dual military parents. These next Family Care Plan Workshop will take place at MCFTB (Bldg 5677) on Camp Foster October 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. As this is a lunchtime workshop, bringing a lunch is recommended. Register for this workshop by October 13 by visiting For more information, call 645-3698.

Okinawa Living, MCCS’s Award Winning Magazine 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 Okinawa Living is published by MCCS Marketing. Its purpose is to inform the military and civilian community about events and programs offered by MCCS or available in the local market. Dates and times may change. Copyright ©2014 by MCCS. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transferred in any form, by any means, electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without written permission of the copyright owner. No federal or Marine Corps endorsement of advertisers and sponsors. MCCS is not responsible for editing content of non-MCCS ads.

GIVEUSFEEDBACK We welcome your comments. Please send letters to FROM TOP: Jakub Jirsak /, dolgachov/, Wavebreak Media Ltd/

For advertising, call: 098-970-2245 (phone) 098-970-0975 (fax) (e-mail) See our advertising rates at MCCS Marketing Branch MCB Camp S.D. Butler Unit 35023 FPO AP 96373-5023 広告掲載のお問い合わせは MCCSマーケティング営業部まで 098-970-2245 (日本語可)

Okinawa Living Magazine is printed with

L.I.N.K.S. for Kids At Marine Corps Family Team Building’s L.I.N.K.S. for Kids, children can learn about the Marine Corps, share stories about being a military kid, talk about deployment, OPSEC, moving and much more. Kids will also gain valuable insights and new perspective on their own situations by connecting with other kids that share the same life experiences. Kids will also have a bunch of fun playing games, making crafts, meeting new friends and learning positive ways that they can connect to their community. The next L.I.N.K.S. for Kids will be held October 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bldg 5677 on Camp Foster. For more information about L.I.N.K.S. for Kids contact MCFTB at 645-3698.

baby boot camp It’s one of the toughest, yet rewarding jobs on the planet …and it always has been and always will be. What is this enormously challenging (and sometimes terrifying) career? Being a parent. Fortunately, the MCCS New Parent Support Program offers a helping hand in the form of Baby Boot Camp! Baby Boot Camp will prepare expectant parents on what to expect during the third trimester and the first six weeks of their baby’s life. Parents will learn how to prepare for delivery, basics of infant development, self-care, infant safety, newborn care, community resources and more. The class is open to first-time or “first-time-again” parents, as well as parents awaiting the arrival of their adopted infant. The next Boot Camp will be held on Camp Foster on November 6 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Registration as early as the second trimester is recommended. For more information or to register, call 645-0396.


Ultraman, Ultraseven, King Joe, Gomora, Baltan Seijin Copyright Š Tsuburaya Productions Co, Ltd 2015

the way of

By Ryan Anastoplus Layout by Hector Nieves Photography by Thomas Alan Smilie Diorama by Henry C. Ortega

As a human race, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had more bad luck than good when it comes to encounters with aliens. As evidenced in War of the Worlds, The Thing, Alien and Starship Troopers, earthlings and spacemen typically donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get along. Some good has come out of our relationship with space though. We met Superman and He-Man for example. But one of the most unique and benevolent intergalactic exports that humans have received is Ultraman.


the way of


ltraman is the name given by humans to the being from the Land of Light on the planet Ultra in the M78 Nebula. Ultraman is 40 meters tall, weighs 35,000 tons and is 20,000 years old. The alien is referred to as a “he” only because his human vessel is a male. Ultraman itself is genderless. Beings from the planet Ultra are made entirely of light. Ultraman first appeared on Earth in 1966. While in pursuit of Bemular, a reptilian monster from space, Ultraman collided with a Science Patrol aircraft. The pilot of the jet, Shin Hayata, was killed in the crash. Ultraman, feeling remorse for the accident, gave his life-force to Hayata. Thus, Ultraman and Hayata, man and alien, became one being and Hayata had the ability to transform into his alien form whenever necessary. For as iconic and universally appealing Ultraman is, the character is unlike any other superhero we’ve seen. He has no reason to help humankind to the extent of giving his own life, and it’s never clear why he or any of his species does. He does not speak or offer anything to the plot besides action—the supporting cast of humans are the ones that drive the story and the drama. It is mentioned that beings from the planet Ultra can live much longer than humans (one human’s lifespan is equal to three minutes in an Ultraman’s life) and so Ultraman is willing to sacrifice his time to allow humans to live what relatively brief lives they have. The origin story begins when Ultraman feels guilt over the death of an earthling. To compare him to another alien hero like Superman, Ultraman is of a completely different breed and culture. Superman is a tough, bold, full of machismo and an invulnerable icon of heroism and strength. Ultraman is none of that. Ultraman is a sexless, voiceless, can only endure the earth’s atmosphere for minutes at a time, has been defeated and will ask for help from his fellow Ultramen when times are tough. In this sense, these heroes are symbolic of their respective cultural values and philosophies. At the time, the series was unlike anything on TV. Created by special effects pioneer Eiji Tsuburaya shortly after he worked on Godzilla, Ultraman brought film-quality production to the TV screen. Even today, the budget and production values of the show are so high it cannot bring profit on its own even with its huge fan base. The show relies on licensing to turn a profit— and they’ve done well. You can find Ultraman’s face plastered on everything from chopsticks to underwear to a custom-made violin auctioned for over ¥780,000.

"To compare him to another alien hero like Superman, Ultraman is of a completely different breed and culture."


the way of

Thus, Ultraman has become a pop culture icon in Japan for generations of children and adults. But an icon for what, exactly? Most children idolize Ultraman because he can beat up monsters and look cool doing it. But violence is never quite what the residents of planet Ultra stood for. In fact, the few lessons directly imparted from Ultraman to humans have been the five Ultra Pledges: 1. I will not go to school on an empty stomach. 2. I will air out the bedding when the weather is nice. 3. I will be careful of cars when walking by the side of the road. 4. I will not depend on others. 5. I will run around and play barefoot on the ground. In later episodes, the following advice was given: Never extinguish your kindness. Be considerate to others weaker than you and help each other. Regardless of where they are from, treat others as they are your friends, even if they betray you a hundred times. That is my final wish. Although known mainly as an action hero and for their abilities to take down monsters, Ultraman is a pacifist. To fully understand Ultraman as a character and hero, it’s important to understand his enemies— kaiju, and kaiju culture as a whole. Kaiju grew into popularity with the Godzilla in 1954 (also made with special effects by Eji Tsuburaya) and are often created by human folly or recklessness and symbolize ecological threats and natural disaster. Like their antagonists, kaiju have their own backstory and characterization, their own story of why they do what they do. Although kaiju terrorize cities and destroy towns, audiences are still able to have some degree of sympathy for them because the terror that befalls the humans in the story is partially in some way

their own fault, and the kaiju is only reacting to its environment. “Monsters are tragic beings... They are not evil by choice; they're born too tall, too strong, too heavy. That is their tragedy. They do not attack humanity intentionally, but because of their size they cause damage and suffering. Therefore, man defends himself against them. After several stories of this type, the public finds sympathy for the monster; in reality, they favor the monsters” Ishiro Honda, director of Godzilla. Kaiju as a genre is reflection of current social, political and environmental issues. As such, how the series and Ultraman himself relates to the monsters often reflected current events of the time.

"Never extinguish your kindness. Be considerate to others weaker than you and help each other."


the way of

As popular opinion turned toward pacifism and neutrality in foreign affairs, so did Ultraman’s attitude, as an episode depicted a Buddist memorial service to all the kaiju that man was forced to kill. It became notable during this time that Ultraman is not only a hero to humans, but to kaiju as well, often using nonviolent methods to save both humans and the monster—taking the monster away from earth and back to where it came from and sometimes changing the monster’s ways in the process. As writer and director Jissouji Akio put it, “[kaiju] didn't come to earth to attack it. He came here because he lost his way." However, some of the underlying themes were much more direct and biting. One of the original lead writers was Okinawa native Tetsuo Kinjo, who made it his goal to “become a bridge between Okinawa and Japan.” He used the Okinawan language to name his monsters, most of which had backstories related to WWII. In fact, much of the original storylines had many allegories related to the U.S. occupation of Okinawa and Japanese colonialism. One episode depicts a race of people (the Nonmaruto) displaced from their land and forced to live underwater by their own human ancestors. This is an easy metaphor for the Japanese transposition of Okinawan culture and history.

"...Ultraman is not only a hero to humans, but to kaiju as well, often using non-violent methods to save both humans and the monster..."


the way of

Although Kinjo died suddenly at 37, the issues he introduced continued to be explored by other Okinawan writers such as Shozo Uehara. For example in one episode, a man named Kaneyama (an alien in the immigrant sense and a common Japanized name for Korean-Japanese citizens) is killed by his neighbors in Kawasaki. At the time Kawasaki was known for its large amount of minorities, including Okinawans. In response to the death, a monster called Muruchi terrorizes Kawasaki. As citizens pleaded for help, Ultraman responded, “don’t be selfish, you people brought on the monster.” Unlike in Godzilla, wherein humanity must accept and suffer their creation, in Ultraman, both the humans and the monsters have a savior. While the monsters demonstrate specific issues and problems in Japan, Ultraman demonstrates Japanese humanism and broad morals. Ultraman exercises perseverance, righteousness, empathy and wisdom for no other reason than the greater good of humankind. Unlike other heroes, we can’t pinpoint Ultraman’s motivations. Ultraman doesn’t have an alter-ego or a costume. It is through the interplay of Ultraman, the kaiju and humans that we begin to see the bigger picture of the series. As a superhero, the ethics of Confucianism and Buddhism are apparent in Ultraman. Whether it’s through collecting toys and memorabilia, or following the decades-long film and TV series’ or playing the video games, there is always a way to learn from Ultraman. Ultraman and all its variants are a series that takes the current issues of the world around it and turns it into monster fights. As long as we have problems, we will have Ultraman to solve them. 


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october 2015 OKINAWA LIVING 21

Deep in the hilly fields of Yomitan, next to a park populated with twisty and other-worldly gajyumaru (banyan) trees, there is a place where dreams become reality. “It’s hot in the summertime, cold in the wintertime and floods during typhoons,” says Yukinori Higa, one of the two brothers that make up the dynamic duo known as Higa Brothers Productions. Along with Kazutetsu Higa, the two make magic happen in their studio on the second floor of their home.


“It’s alive… It’s ALIVE!” —Dr. Frankenstein

october 2015 OKINAWA LIVING 23


“Hi I’m Chucky… wanna play?” —Chucky

Lovers of manga and puppet animation from a young age, the Higa brothers were inspired into entering the field of stopmotion model animation and special effects makeup by David W. Allen (known for his work on Caveman, Laserblast and Batteries Not Included) and Ray Harryhausen—animator of classics such as Mighty Joe Young, the 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts and the 1981 Clash of the Titans.

october 2015 OKINAWA LIVING 25


“Every town has an Elm Street” —Freddy Krueger

Working part-time jobs after graduating from high school, the Higa brothers went to America to chase their dreams. After interviewing at different studios they found work with Joji Tani, special effects artist and film director, who is better known as “Screaming Mad George.” After which, they finally reached their lifelong-wish of working for David Allen. After working in Tokyo, the Higa Brothers returned to Okinawa in 1999 and collaborated on local films such as Kanahiru The Iron Boy (2007) and Harusa Eika II (2012). Currently, the Higa brothers are illustrating a book about local mythical creatures known as majimun (or yôkai in Japanese). Meet the Higa brothers at Comic Con 2015 on October 17 at the Foster Fieldhouse. 

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Explo rīng t he Inexplīcable text by Mike Daley | layout & illustrations by Lisa Miyagi

Japan is home to numerous folktales , myths and legends… many of which are perfect for All Hallows ’ Eve. s summer winds down into autumn and the end of October approaches, many in the United States begin thinking chilling thoughts of ghosts, apparitions and a gentleman garbed in a hockey mask. Halloween isn’t celebrated in most of Japan and until recently, trick-ortreating was still an unfamiliar practice in many parts of the mainland. However, quite a few Okinawan children

wait anxiously for the 31st of October alongside their American counterparts. This is mostly due to many years of influence from American installations on the island. And, while summertime is the traditional season for ghosts in the east, during Halloween, witches, vampires, werewolves and Dr. Frankenstein’s Monster share the stage with myths, urban legends and legendary creatures of Okinawa and Japan.



| Japanese Supernatural Beings

Many legendary creatures of folklore from various parts of the world inspire fear, as well as Halloween costumes. And while it is highly unlikely you will come face to face with very many children garbed in costumes inspired by these imaginary Japanese monsters on All Hallows’ Eve, an encounter with any one of these bakemono will probably instill a fair amount of unease.


| Mountain Goblin

Tengu are a form of goblin and there are many different forms in Japanese mythology—each with its own “rank.” The lower-echelon tengu are half-human-half-avian creatures with long beaks, glittering eyes, the wings of a bird and the arms and legs of a human. Higher-ranking tengu are a bit different. These creatures have long white hair, a red face with thick shaggy eyebrows, and an unbelievably-long nose. While these variants of the tengu usually don’t have wings, they possess many supernatural powers. They are usually pictured wearing the garb of a Shingon Buddhist mountain monk/warrior called a yamabushi. These costumes consist of baggy trousers and a white kimono-like tunic with a collar decorated with six different colored feathers. These tengu also wear a small black cap on their heads (that doubles as a cup), tall geta (wooden slippers) and carry a sensu (a fan made of white feathers). Although sometimes known for mischievous acts, these tengu are often represented as benign protectors and transmitters of supernatural powers. They are also known for sometimes taking on students, teaching them mystical martial arts and magic (which may sound vaguely familiar if you have seen the 2013 film 47 Ronin starring Keanu Reeves and Hiroyuki Sanada). Many Japanese legends state that the legendary martial artist and swordsman Minamoto Yoshitsune received training on Mount Kurama from Sojobo, the king of the tengu.



| River Sprite

Kappa are malicious water imps of Japanese folklore that are reputed to inhabit lakes and rivers preying on children who fail to listen to their parents. This aspect of the kappa legend is probably the product of an inventive parent’s imagination. Although the description of a kappa varies from province to province, the general consensus is that kappa are the size of a 12- or 13-year-old child with a face resembling a cross between a tiger and a monkey. Its hair is bobbed, and its head has a saucer-shaped depression on the apex filled with river water. The kappa’s body is covered with green and blue scales, and its webbed hands and feet end in razor-sharp claws.

Popular Japanese legends state that kappa tend to be fond of cucumbers and enjoy sumo wrestling. However cute this may seem, they are also reputed to enjoy performing unspeakable acts on their victims—such as removing internal organs from their prey via pre-existing orifices and using these organs in ways that would make Hannibal Lecter grin from ear-to-ear. Thankfully, kappa are also prone to bribery (usually with several cucumbers) and they can sometimes be tricked into returning a bow, thereby spilling all the water from the bowl on their heads (the selfsame legend states that this causes the kappa to lose its supernatural strength).




| Elongated neck

One of the more popular and bizarre bakemono in Japanese folklore is the rokurokubi. Falling more under the yôkai then the bakemono category in older Japanese folklore the rokurokubi was also known as nukekubi (sort of a Japanese version of the mythical Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow sans horse). One big difference though: It wasn’t the body that you need to be worried about. Nukekubi’s heads would detach and attack late-night travelers as a snack. Although just as disturbing to see if happened upon during a late-night jog in the park, the more popular incarnation of the rokurokubi is a “person” whose neck stretches and extends to impossible lengths so that just the head follows you along your way.

Hī-no-tama Hi-no-tama, which literally translates into “ball of fire,” are the Japanese version of the will ‘o the wisp or spirit fire. Hi-no-tama are also reputed to manifest as faces that appear in an evening bonfire, or a ball of fire flashing, briefly lighting the night sky. The most popular stories of hi-no-tama almost invariably involve visits to cemeteries—as the apparitions are thought to be the

| Spirit Flames souls of the dead that are still wandering the earth. It is thought that these balls of fire flitting between the headstones of graves indicated that a lost soul was visiting. Not many modern-day Japanese are very frightened of the hi-no-tama—most preferred to be scared by apparitions with indistinct human form—and are relegated to the pages of humorous manga (comics).



MIKESAN’SJAPAN | Okinawan wood Sprites

Kijimunâ, which are also referred to as akakanajiya, hukazokuku, bunagaya, kenkenjimuna, kideimuna and other names in various parts of the archipelago, are a common mythical creature recognized throughout the islands. Folktales about their origin also vary from place to place. In the southern portions of Okinawa, kijimunâ are thought to be the spirits of those who lost their lives by drowning in the ocean, and in the southern islands of Miyako and Yaeyama, they are thought to be the spirits of dead children. Probably the most popular legend states that they are wood sprites. Many recognize this sprite from the


many statues and pictures of him near the Okinawan theme park called Ryukyu Mura. Ryukyu Mura’s kijimunâ are usually portrayed as a small child-like entity around 4 feet tall, with ears like an elf, red hair, garbed in a skirt made of leaves or a loin cloth. It is believed that they live exclusively in spaces among the tangled roots of banyan trees called gajyumaru. Although kijimunâ are harmless in this incarnation, they are also considered notoriously mischievous—sort of like a gremlin. Kijimunâ enjoy eating fish eyes, are terrified of octopi and chickens and are thought to be the cause of kanashibari—the paralysis people sometimes feel immediately upon waking.

| Giant Okinawan bat

Although far from supernatural, bats have always had the power to elicit images of vampires and feelings of dread and fear—probably because they are creatures associated primarily with darkness and the night. Some even believe that bats go on biting sprees every Halloween. However while the bats on Okinawa are large, they are also quite charming, and play an important role in the ecosystem of the island. Known by some as the “Japanese mega-bat” and others as the Ryukyu Flying Fox, these aerial mammals are members of the 150 worldwide species of the fruit bat family.

One of the main distinctive characteristics of the flying fox is of course its size. Specimens have been observed with wingspans of up to 140 centimeters (approximately 63 inches) and their bodies are about the size of a tomcat. When seen up close, it will become apparent to most that flying foxes are aptly named. They have adorable faces with large soulful eyes and they may remind some of a very large, longhaired, upside-down chihuahua wearing a black leather trench coat equipped with a fur liner. While some specimens of flying fox can be intimidating (especially

if they’re flying directly at a person at eye level), they aren’t carnivorous. They maintain an important role in the Ryukyu Archipelago’s ecosystem, by not only cross-pollinating plants (sort of like a very large bee), but also dispersing seeds. Seeing groups of these airborne beings flying in almost perfect wingtip-to-wingtip formation 10 feet off the ground can be a truly awe-inspiring sight. And, once people get to know these creatures a little better, wonder and fascination usually displace feelings of revulsion and apprehension. As long as they don’t forget to duck.

Although ghosts, apparitions, monsters, and other things that “go bump in the night” are quite popular during the end of October in the west, on Okinawa many people are more on the lookout for late season typhoons. For many Okinawans, the biggest event during the month is the annual Naha City Tug-of-War Festival. However, while the autumn evening breezes carrying just a hint of a chill can be refreshing after a

long hot summer, sometimes the tingle one feels crawling down their spine can signify something entirely different. While late summer (before the Obon holiday), is the time of year for ghost stories in Japan, it is believed by some that supernatural creatures, wander the night all year. And that tingle could be coming from the spindly fingers of a kijimuna, webbed claws of a kappa… or worse. 


E&C Turkish Kebab

Exotic, grand cuisine in a friendly relaxed atmosphere Text and Photography by Mike Daley


ecently a conversation in our offices (as it oftentimes does) turned to one of our favorite subjects: cuisine. Namely, “grand cuisines.” It is said that there are three “official” grand cuisines in the world: French, Chinese and…no not Italian or even Japanese. The third grand cuisine is from the Ottoman Empire—better known as Turkish food. Turkish food is exotic—a fusion of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Caucasus, Central Asian and food from the Balkans—refined over hundreds of years. Turkish cuisine chiefly uses lamb, beef and chicken, vegetables such as onions, garlic, eggplant, olives, green peppers, lentils, beans, nuts and a variety of spices. Yogurt and olives also play an important part. Although quite diverse, with an extensive variety of soups, stews, breads, pastas, pastries and more, Turkish cuisine

is probably best-known throughout the world for kebab—small cuts of meat, roasted or grilled on a metal spit. Whether it’s the sis kebab (meats skewered with garlic and vegetables such as garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, bell peppers and others) or the friendlier and more informal döner kebab—lamb, beef or chicken slow-roasted on a vertical rotating spit. It is believed that the shawarma from the Middle East, tacos al pastor for Mexico and the Greek gyros all originated from the döner kebab. And poetically, so does the story of E&C Turkish Kebab. Engin and Chikako Özkan, owners and proprietors of E&C (name makes sense now?) Turkish Kebab spent seven years together selling döner kebab at ND Soft Staduim—home of the J. League Division 1 Montedio Yamagata professional soccer team. They recently moved their base of operations to a quiet corner tucked away in the Hamby district

of Chatan…and E&C was born. A testament to just how good their food is: Soccer fans have flown from Yamagata Prefecture all the way to Okinawa to visit with the Özkans and taste their wonderful food again. Not limited to their döner kebab wraps which are very popular during lunchtime, hours (11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.), E&C Turkish Kebab also features truly “grand” cuisine during dinnertime. All dinner sets begin with a traditional heart-warming Ezogelin soup—made with red lentils, tomatoes, onion, garlic and spices as well as an appetizer of either smooth-and-creamy hummus, Ispanak Tarama (spinach and yogurt paste with garlic) or a spicy ezme (a mixture of finely-chopped vegetables and spices). “Today’s Dinner Set” (¥1,980) features the special of the day—which alternates between Sulu kofte (Turkish meatballs), Nohut (a stew made with


chicken and chickpeas), Kuru fasulye (a stew made with chicken and white kidney beans) and Turlu (Turkish casserole). The E&C Sauté Set (¥2,980) features a lamb or chicken sauté filled with hearty vegetables and served still bubbling in a hot pot. The main dish of The Ottoman Set (¥2,980) is beef, chicken or lamb döner kebab over rice—Japanese donburi-style. The Istanbul Set (¥1,980) also features döner kebab over rice with a choice of chicken or beef (lamb is ¥300 extra). Finally, the Bosporus Set (¥2,980) features a mix of lamb and chicken sis kebabs for the hearty diners. All dinner sets also come with a salad (the E&C Sauté, Ottoman and Bosporus come with a Coban Salad, the Istanbul with a Green Salad and Today’s Dinner Set comes with a mini-salad), dessert and Turkish tea. All of the items we sampled at E&C Turkish Kebab were absolutely

delightful—the meats were juicy and succulent with a perfect balance of spices and vegetables. However, there are two items that a diner absolutely must try if they visit—the cacik and Turkish rice pudding. Cacik is a chilled, yogurt-based soup with cucumbers flavored with mint and garlic. Although this may sound like a curious combination, it was definitely love-at-first-bite so to speak. Such was also the case with the rice pudding— mildly warm and sweet and delicately flavored with cinnamon. As exotic and grand as the cuisine is at E&C Turkish Kebab it is still overshadowed, or in this case outshined by something greater…the friendliness and approachability of the Özkans. Hopefully their restaurant will be open here on Okinawa for a long while…but if they decide to return to Yamagata, I may fly all the way up there to pay them a visit. 


HOWTOGETTHERE How to get there: From the Camp Foster Commissary Gate, take a right and turn left at the second light. Turn right at the light and take the first right (at the Japanese post office). Take the first left then the first right. E&C will be on your left. Hours: Open Tuesday–Sunday Lunch: 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Dinner: 5:30–9 p.m. Payment ¥ and credit cards TEL: 098-927-0189



Breast Cancer Awareness

Early detection can improve survival By Dr. Bert Griffith, MCCS Health Promotion Manager

Otna Ydur/


he American Cancer Society (ACS) has designated October as Breast Cancer Awareness month to help increase awareness of a troubling public health problem. The ACS estimates that 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer and approximately 40,730 breast cancer-related deaths will occur in 2015 among American women. Among U.S. men, 2,350 new cases and 440 deaths are expected this year. Breast cancer is the second-most frequently diagnosed cancer among women (second only to cancers of the skin), and 1 in 8 American women have a lifetime risk of the disease. Although the cause is unknown, scientific research has uncovered a number of risk factors for breast cancer. Having a risk factor does not necessarily mean that a woman will or will not get the disease. In fact, most women who develop breast malignancy have no clear risk factors. Heredity is a major risk for breast cancer. Studies have shown that 10 percent of women with breast cancer

have a first-degree relative with the cancer. However, it should be pointed out that 80 percent of women with breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease. A woman’s risk for breast cancer increases as she gets older. More than 85 percent of new breast cancers occur in women older than 45 and less than 2 percent are found in women younger than 30. Women who start their menstrual period before age 12 or go through menopause after age 50 have a slight increased risk of breast cancer. Women who have had no children or who had their first child after age 30 also have a slightly higher risk for the malignancy. Lastly, lifestyle-related factors that place a woman at high risk for this cancer include overweight/obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, the use of tobacco products and excessive alcohol use. The above breast cancer facts are undeniably startling, but the good news is that most cases of breast cancer can be successfully treated if detected and treated early. There are steps you can

take to help reduce your risk of this disease. Perform a monthly breast self-exam (BSE). These exams are an option for women beginning in their 20s. BSEs should be performed 7 to 10 days after your last menstrual period to prevent confusion with breast changes that occur during menstruation. If you are postmenopausal or have had a hysterectomy, do a BSE on the first day of the month or a date every month that is significant to you. Women in their 20s and 30s should undergo a provider breast examination every three years, and yearly for women after age 40. The recommendation on when a woman should start having mammograms is currently debatable. However, the ACS recommends that women should have a baseline (first) mammogram at age 40 and continue annually as long as a woman is in good health. Research is starting to show that a healthy lifestyle may secondarily reduce a woman’s risk for breast cancer. There are a few strategies that may help prevent breast malignancy. A low fat diet can lower your risk for breast cancer as well as other diseases such as colon cancer and heart disease. Regular exercise may lower a woman’s risk of getting the disease. Living a tobaccofree life can also reduce a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer and a long list of other diseases such as lung cancer and type 2 diabetes. Women who have two or more alcoholic drinks a day have an increased risk of breast cancer compared to women who don’t drink. If you drink alcohol, keep your intake to less than one drink a day. Breastfeeding your infant for more than four months has been associated with lower risk for breast cancer. For more information on breast cancer, contact your primary health care provider, the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa Breast Health Center at 6467222, or the American Cancer Society Website at 



Tournament Play

Are you ready to compete? By Jon Stillabower, Operations Manager n

UPCOMINGEVENT Club Championship October 10–12 Register by October 7 Tee-time Event Sign up for this three-day, 54-hole stroke-play event at Taiyo Golf Club. Players will be placed in flights according to handicaps. The last flight, senior’s and women’s flight, will play using 80 percent of each individual’s handicap. For details or to sign up, call Taiyo G.C. at 6222004/2006 (or 098-954-2004/2006 from off base).

photo by Thomas Alan Smilie


t some point, almost every golfer sets a goal to play in a golf tournament. There are golfers who play for fun, and golfers who compete or play to win. Here at Taiyo Golf Club, we want each and every golfer to not just have fun playing in our tournaments, but to compete in them as well. Here are some tips to compete at the best of your ability. The first step to success in tournament play is to possess a quality golf swing. That requires knowledge of swing mechanics, accompanied by quality practice. We understand that not every golfer can fit perfectly into the “model golf swing,” which is why practice is so important. Many golfers possess a basic foundation for a good swing but do not spend time practicing their skills. The key to a great swing is not necessarily copying the model, but to be able to repeat your swing and know what the ball is going to do each time you strike it. Good practice consists of well-rounded sessions that include all aspects of the game, from tee shots and approach shots to putting. Too many golfers focus solely on their driver and how far they can hit the ball, but the driver is not what wins

tournaments. As with any physical undertaking, you want to make sure you stretch and loosen up before you begin. Once you feel loose and ready, don’t go straight for the driver. Start with your shorter clubs and work your way up to your driver. Pull your pitching wedge or 9-iron and hit short shots, working your way up to a full swing. Continue this step as you move up to mid-irons and eventually your long irons and woods, and pay closer attention to accuracy than distance. Once you have a solid swing and your confidence is high, you should establish a handicap. Without an established handicap, you are at a disadvantage against those players that do have a handicap. Having a handicap index issued by a golf club or an authorized golf association will give you a greater perspective of your golf abilities and will allow you to truly and fairly compete in any event. If you do not possess a valid and current handicap, you will be issued a zero handicap for the event and will simply be competing for the gross score division. To establish a handicap, all you have to do is play at least five rounds of golf and

enter your scores into our free handicap system. An established handicap will double your chances of winning by allowing you to compete in the net division of the event, too. Finally, learn some basic golf rules. Many golfers play every weekend and do not truly understand the rules of golf. This is fine if you never plan to compete in a golf tournament. Each player is responsible to know and abide by the U.S. Golf Association rules. Learning just a few of the basic rules such as what color stakes are on the course and what they represent, how to take proper relief, what is considered an obstruction, etc., will help you successfully compete in an event without incurring unnecessary penalty strokes. Please stop by and ask our team of professionals how we can help you step up your game and become a real contender. 

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Diving the USS Emmons

Experience a piece of history By Erik Pfarr, Tsunami SCUBA Dive Instructor n

FEATUREDCOURSE Night Diver Although you’ve seen the same reef many times, after the sun sets it becomes a whole other world under the glow of your dive light. Introduce yourself to a new cast of critters that only come out at night and see your favorite dive sites from a new perspective. The course teaches about diving planning, organization, procedures, techniques, potential problems, nighttime navigation and the nocturnal aquatic life. SAFETY TIP Winter is fast approaching—this means hypothermia. Bring warm, dry clothes to change into and avoid prolonged cold. If you get out of the water, dry off and seek warmth.

Photo courtesy of James winter


he USS Emmons (DD-457/DMS22) served as a destroyer in the Atlantic Ocean before being transferred to the Pacific Ocean to serve as a minesweeper. It was during the Battle of Okinawa on the morning of April 7, 1945 that the USS Emmons finally sank below the surface and embarked on eternal patrol. There are articles, tours and websites dedicated to the historic ship. For all that you can read about the USS Emmons, nothing can really prepare you for the incredible experience of actually seeing the old ship resting on the bottom. There is an incredible connection and sense of history that is unlike any other dive. It truly is a privilege and an honor to visit the 60 Sailors that lost their lives and pay your respects.

 The USS Emmons is a short boat ride from ports in northern Motubu, and the calm water and sunshine often belie the difficulty and complexity of the dive. After exiting the boat, you will drop approximately 110 to 130 feet, using nothing but a rope to guide you and give reference. Your dive clock starts when you begin your descent, and you will have approximately 10

minutes to explore the 348-foot wreck. Add to that mix the potential for a strong current that you have to fight against and the possible bewildering effects of gas narcosis, and the Emmons becomes a very challenging dive. The good news is that Tsunami SCUBA has instructors who are experienced in deep dives on the USS Emmons and can assist you with the equipment and training necessary to get the most out of your USS Emmons trip.

 The Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI) specifically designed a Deep Diver specialty course for divers that will be operating between depths of 100 to 130 feet. The four dives required in the course focus on preparing for and planning deep dives, recognizing and responding to gas narcosis and anticipating and reacting to various problems that you might encounter. While you must have an Advanced Open Water certification from a major training agency to participate in the Deep Diver specialty course, this class should be considered essential for those seeking to dive the USS Emmons.

 In terms of gear you’ll use for your deep dives, there are a few items to grab.

You probably know about the various advantages that a dive computer offers, but if you haven’t already made the decision to invest in one, stop by one of our locations to talk to our staff about the various models that would fit your needs. You can also purchase a surface marker buoy (safety sausage) to allow a boat captain to spot you from a distance and pick you up should you get separated from the group. Make sure to swing by a Tsunami SCUBA store to pick these items up. Visiting the USS Emmons is an amazing experience, and one that you should take advantage of while diving around Okinawa. You need to make sure you appreciate the hazards of this dive, receive the necessary training and stock up on the right equipment to safely enjoy this experience. For more information, visit your nearest Tsunami SCUBA dive center on Camps Foster, Courtney, Kinser, Hansen and Schwab or visit 

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Explore Sapporo

Something for the whole family By Ryan Anastoplus n

LOCALTOURS Spooky Sites Tour October 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 6–10 p.m. Adults $20, Children (3–11) $13, (under 3) FREE Naha Tug of War October 11, noon–8 p.m. Adults $21, Children (3–11) $14, (under 3) FREE Watch the largest tug-of-war at the annual festival in Naha, complete with eisa performances, a dress parade and other festivities. Shishimai Festival October 25, 5–9 p.m. Adults $20, Children (3–11) $13, (under 3) FREE This yearly festival features shishimai, or lion-dog, dancing, traditionally believed to have magical abilities to repel evil spirits. Both Okinawan and mainland Japan performers will be featured.



n the Ainu language, Sapporo means “dry, great river.” Doesn’t sound like much of a tourist destination but luckily, the Sapporo you’ll visit from  February 3 to 7 offers much more than a barren riverbed. Sapporo today is the  fifth-largest city in Japan, capital of Hokkaido Prefecture and home of the  Sapporo Snow Festival, the 1972 Winter Olympics (the first ever held in  Asia), world-class ramen, great ski spots, Sapporo Brewery and the illustrious white  chocolate biscuits sold only in Hokkaido called shiroi koibito (“lovers in white”). Sapporo is a feast for the eyes and the stomach. This year’s Snow Festival is from February 5 to 11 and it will transform Odori Park, Susukino and Tsudome into somewhere Mr. Freeze would go for his honeymoon. The Snow Festival features hundreds of ice sculptures from ice sculpting teams around the world and welcomes about 2 million visitors per year.  This tour offers an optional dinner at the Sapporo Beer Garden, which has been described by one patron as, “huge! It is a huge beer hall!” If that sounds promising

to you, The Sapporo Beer Museum is for you. This one-of-a-kind museum is not only known for its fresh beer but also the cauldron of fresh, all-you-can-eat mutton. Sapporo is also home to some great hot springs (onsen) too, if you prefer to spend your vacation lounging. Japanese people believe that soaking in an onsen provides health benefits that can cure aches, pains and diseases. A couple hours outside Sapporo city is Noboribetsu Onsen, home to some of the most upscale onsens in Japan. Noboribetsu Onsen’s water flows from nearby volcanoes; you can finally say that you’ve bathed in a volcano once. Another popular spot is Jouzankei Onsen, an hour bus ride from Sapporo, where you can ski and snowboard, too. If you’re interested in skiing but not quite ready to hit the slopes yet, try computer simulated skiing, speed-skating and ski-jumping at the Winter Sports Museum. After you’ve mastered virtual skiing, hop on a lift at one of the many ski resorts in the area or visit the Okurayama Ski Jump, home of the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics. After you’ve worked up an appetite,

finish the day with a bowl of famous Sapporo ramen. Sapporo is the birthplace of miso ramen and the famous Ramen Alley (Ramen Yokocho). Sapporo is also renowned for its soup curry—ramen noodles in a curry broth, the combination of two ideal winter dishes. This trip has something for the whole family. From ice sculptures and snow activities, soaking in Sapporo’s famous hot springs and, of course, indulging in the local delicacies. At Sapporo, it’s easy to fill your days with activity no matter what your interests. Call your nearest Tours+ location today to reserve your spot. 

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LifeJuice Cafe

We got your juice right here By Courtney Rick n

UPCOMINGEVENTS Shisa Pizza There’s no better feeling in the world than a warm pizza box in your lap. Soon, you’ll be able to enjoy this pleasure when you pick up a freshly-baked pizza from the new Shisa Pizza located on Plaza Housing. Shisa Pizza will offer 12 inches of perfectly crisp, bubbly crust covered in their signature sauce and five-blend Italian cheese mix. Order your favorite toppings or try a specialty pizza like the chicken supreme or BBQ pizza. To find out when this delicious new take-out pizzeria is opening, please follow the MCCS Okinawa – Clubs & Restaurants Facebook page of visit

Kinetic Imagery/


moothies instantly make us feel healthier, even if we’ve just spent the entire afternoon sitting on the couch watching reruns of Seinfeld on Hulu. Once you peel yourself off of the cushions, sort out some clothes to wear and venture out into the world, your first stop for rejuvenation should be LifeJuice Cafe, a smoothie and juice bar that opened Sept. 15 in Gunners Fitness Center on Camp Foster and soon to open inside the fitness centers on Camps Courtney, Hansen and Schwab. The name says it all. The juices and smoothies will bring you back to the world of the living. The offerings are great as pre or post-workout fuel-ups or an anytimetreat. Race cars rely on high-quality fuel to run as efficiently as possible, and your body mechanisms are no different. You may have never given much thought to what keeps your body running smoothly during your workout, but LifeJuice has. Most experts recommend a small meal 30 to 60 minutes prior to your workout session. Gorge on a heavy meal, and you’ll feel the consequences mid-pump. But if you get the right nutrients in your

body before you start, you’ll have extra energy and a head-start on your postworkout recovery. Your pre-workout should include equal parts easily-digestible carbs and protein with some healthy fats mixed in. The appropriately named Gym Junkie smoothie has just that with a blend of strawberries, banana, low fat milk or soy milk, yogurt and a protein booster. The Wellness Warrior also has a great mix of nutrients with banana, blueberries, whole grain oats, coconut water, honey, chia seeds and a protein booster. These smoothies can give you the extra oomph you need to go faster and longer during your workouts. You can even skip the protein boost and fuel up with the Energy Lift with mango, carrot, banana, tropical juice and yogurt. Or add a scoop of protein to any smoothie. The options are plentiful. So now you’re fueled up to put forth your best effort at the gym. But don’t forget about your anabolic window. This term refers to the time that your body responds best to post-workout nutrition to help aide your body’s recovery process. In general, this window is open for 30 to

60 minutes after your workout. You won’t totally kill your gains if you miss this time, but getting the right nutrients shortly after can definitely help. Along with protein, you’ll want to consume some fast-digesting carbs like bananas, blueberries and strawberries, which are conveniently included in many of the LifeJuice smoothie options. Add peanut butter, protein powder or chia seeds for extra protein. Let’s not forget that smoothies and juices also just taste great. You don’t need to work up a sweat to enjoy freshly squeezed and blended drinks. Get a burst of veggies from the Veggie Might juice with carrot, avocado, cucumber and chia seeds, or a fruity delight with the Wild Berry juice made with pineapple, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. So many antioxidants in one place! For details on when LifeJuice Cafe will be opening at Semper Fit facilities near you and full menus, follow the MCCS Okinawa – Clubs & Restaurants Facebook page or Happy fueling! 



Ace That Interview

Transition Management and Employment Assistance Program By Orlando Anaya, Transition Advisor n

FeaturedClasses Resume Writing Workshop In this workshop, you will be able to identify your skills, discover different resume formats and learn how to write about your accomplishments so that an employer will call you for an interview. Command Financial Specialist Training This quarterly training provides unit command financial specialists (CFS) with the basic tools, techniques and information to perform as the unit CFS. Training provided is governed by OPNAVINST 1740.5B. Only 24 seats are available. Call Foster MFR at 645-2104 for additional information.


OCTOBERCALENDAR Camp Foster Survival Japanese Language Writing Foster Grocery Store Tour Money Management Smooth Move

Wavebreak Media Ltd/


rom resume to interview preparation, MCCS Transition Assistance Management Program (TAMP) is here for you. People spend a lot of time looking for the right job and preparing a resume, but what happens when it’s time for the interview? To ace that interview, it is important that you are prepared. Do your research, effectively communicate your skills and show your future employer why you are a perfect fit for the position. First, it’s important to research the position and company that you are interviewing with, as well as common interview questions they may ask. This knowledge will help you impress the hiring manager and prepare yourself to answer questions. Practice makes perfect with interview questions. TAMP coaches clients on techniques to effectively answer these questions and conducts mock interviews to help prepare individuals for their interview. Likewise, be prepared with a list of questions to ask the interviewer. By asking questions, you can learn additional information to help you decide if the job and company are the right fit for you. Dressing appropriately is a great way to

leave a good first impression with the hiring manager. Dress conservatively. A suit isn’t always appropriate. If you are applying for a job as a lifeguard or a mechanic, a suit may be overdressing for the part. But always dress neatly. Tight, low-cut or revealing attire is never appropriate. Limit perfume or cologne and jewelry, and leave your cell phone in the car. The end of the interview is your opportunity to leave a lasting impression with the hiring manager. Recap your strengths, but do not be overly aggressive. What separates you from your colleagues and other applicants? What do you want the hiring manager to take away from this interview in terms of skills, characteristics and accomplishments? Why should they choose you? Also ensure that you ask the hiring manager if they have any additional questions. Once that is done, inquire as to what the next step in the hiring process is. Conclude by thanking them for the opportunity and their time. For more on how to prepare for a job interview, visit for a list of upcoming workshops so you can ace that interview. 

Camp Kinser Obi Making Kinser Field Trip Credit Report & Credit Score Analysis Investing 101 Camp Courtney Sponsorship Training Command Financial Specialist Training Resume Writing Workshop Federal Resume Writing Workshop Camp Hansen Money Management Money & Marriage Transition Readiness Seminar Personal Readiness Seminar Camp Schwab Credit Report & Credit Score Analysis Saving and Investing Sponsorship Training Transition Readiness Seminar MCAS Futenma Survival Japanese Language Class Money Management Workshop Credit Report & Credit Score Analysis Thrift Savings Plan Camp Shields Credit Report & Credit Score Analysis



Marine Corps 101

Lifestyles, Insights, Networking, Knowledge and Skills

By Frank Fay, Director, MCFTB n

OCTOBER CALENDAR Passport to Volunteering October 8, 9–11:30 a.m. Camp Foster, Bldg. 5677 Premarital Seminar October 9, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Camp Foster, Ocean Breeze L.I.N.K.S. for Spouses October 13, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Camp Foster, Bldg. 5677 JSO Daily Life-tips Program October 15, 9 a.m.–noon Camp Foster, Bldg. 5677 L.I.N.K.S. for Kids October 24, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Camp Foster, Bldg. 5677 It’s All About You October 30, 5:30–7:30 p.m. Camp Foster, Bldg. 5677

Thomas alan smilie


ifestyles, Insights, Networking, Knowledge and Skills, or L.I.N.K.S., is a pillar program offered through Marine Corps Family Team Building and designed to meet the needs of Marines and their family. The mission of L.I.N.K.S. workshops is to provide an introduction to the Marine Corps culture and lifestyle, thereby increasing participants’ ability to avoid problems and become more self-sufficient. L.I.N.K.S. also teaches participants what military and community resources and benefits are available to them. L.I.N.K.S. provides spouses with a positive environment to acquire knowledge and develop the skills to successfully meet the challenges of the Marine Corps lifestyle. For parents and extended family members, workshops offer an orientation to the Marine Corps lifestyle to help them understand that extended family members often play a significant role in Marines’ lives, providing both support and advice. For school-age kids and teens, the workshop allows them to network with

their peers, sharing the unique experiences of being a military child. For Marines, L.I.N.K.S. offers information on the benefits and services available to Marines and their families that will aid in their goal of achieving personal and family readiness, which is their ultimate responsibility. In conjunction with the L.I.N.K.S. trainer, mentors, who are volunteers, are responsible for presenting the content at L.I.N.K.S. workshops. Mentors can be Marines, spouses or designated parents or extended family members who have military-lifestyle experience. Experienced spouses can pass valuable experiences to newer spouses in the same tradition of seasoned Marines passing on wisdom and knowledge to junior Marines, continuing the rich traditions that have become hallmarks of the Marine Corps. Providing fun and engaging workshops that equip participants with the knowledge and tools they will need to navigate the military lifestyle is the ultimate goal of the L.I.N.K.S. program.

Offering five different workshops to meet the needs of each audience is the key to L.I.N.K.S. success. Whether you attend a session for Marines, spouses or significant others, parents or extended family members, teens or kids, you are guaranteed to walk away empowered, informed, and with some new friends too. For more details on the L.I.N.K.S. program, contact Marine Corps Family Team Building at mcftb or call 645-3698. 

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Healthcare Education

Begin your education in healthcare while on Okinawa By Brittany Murphy, Guidance Counselor n

DIDYOUKNOW? According to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs in the healthcare field will rise 10 percent between 2012 and 2022. A formal education in a healthcare-related major will assist interested individuals in obtaining many these positions. Stop by your local MCCS Education Center or visit mccsokinawa. com/educationandcareerservices for guidance on how to get started.


ave you always dreamed of a degree in a healthcare field? Are you left wondering how you might be able to accomplish that goal while living overseas? Many customers ask about such options almost every day at the MCCS Education Centers. Believe it or not, there are actually some options for students to pursue an education in healthcare while living on Okinawa. No matter what you study in college, you will need roughly two years (or 60 credit hours) of general education and elective courses. This is where you can expect to take basic courses in a variety of subjects like mathematics, history, English, humanities and science. You may also take courses that interest you, such as psychology, sociology, art, drama or even Japanese. One way you can begin to work toward a healthcare-related degree on Okinawa is by getting started on your general education courses. This is possible through the schools that are located on every Marine Corps base on Okinawa: Central Texas College (CTC) and the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). Both schools offer courses that can fulfill such requirements, as well as some specific healthcare-related courses. UMUC offers classes in health services management

in online and face-to-face formats and CTC offers some non-clinical nursing classes online, such as medical terminology. Both schools are regionally accredited, and, by taking these classes while on Okinawa, you can set yourself up for success to further pursue your specific healthcare degree when you return stateside. If you intend to transfer to a new school after leaving the island, you are encouraged to contact the registrar’s office of your intended school to confirm transferability of coursework done on Okinawa. Additionally, the American Red Cross on Okinawa offers some specially designed volunteer programs that consist of intensive classroom learning experiences, followed by clinical training hours in either dental assisting or medical assisting. The program provides the skills necessary to become a trained professional in the onisland clinics. During the course of study, students will also be given the opportunity to obtain CPR/First Aid/AED professional responder certifications. Such skills might eventually be used to obtain formal licenses in the U.S. and may help toward finding a similar paid position. During the American Red Cross dental assisting program, students spend two

weeks in class learning the basic skills of dental assisting, followed by a 650-hour on-the-job training internship in one of the dental clinics on island. While this program is a non-licensing course, it can go a long way to providing the necessary knowledge and valuable clinical experience needed to obtain that license in the U.S. The American Red Cross medical assistant program is also a non-licensing program that consists of two weeks of classroom training along with 384 hours of on-the-job training at the U.S. Naval Hospital on Camp Foster. A similar pharmacy technician training program will also begin in early 2016. Ultimately, an education in healthcare is not impossible while you are living on Okinawa. Whether you prefer college courses or a hands-on approach to learning, you will be able to gain experience and knowledge in your chosen field. Any of these options will allow you to pursue a degree and career with a wealth of experience and understanding of healthcare-related fields and their requirements. For more information on the American Red Cross programs, please visit their website at, or visit and for the university information. 



Emotional Intelligence

What future employers really want By Christina Saunders, Ashibina Child Development Center Director n

SLOSpot October: Drug Awareness and Red Ribbon Week Red Ribbon Week was founded in 1985 in honor of Enrique (Kiki) Camarena, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent. Camarena served in the U.S. Marine Corps, later becoming a DEA officer. Camarena was abducted and tortured to death while working undercover in Mexico investigating a major drug cartel. He was 37 years old. In honor of Camarena and his battle against illegal drugs, friends and neighbors began wearing red ribbons. The National Red Ribbon Campaign is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation. The Red Ribbon 2015 theme is, “Respect Yourself. Be Drug Free.” Did you know? Children of parents who talk to them regularly about drugs are 42 percent less likely to use drugs, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations with their parents. – Diana Mizell USMC School Liaison Officer



arents sometimes wonder what their child is learning at the Child Development Center (CDC). A parent may look in the classroom and see the area divided in distinct sections, like dramatic play, science and art. The setup looks great and organized for play, but parents may wonder how this type of play is going to help their child do well in school. It’s easy to understand that parents want to see results and be assured that their children are going to do well in life. The CDCs on Okinawa are achieving just that. They are preparing your children for the important life lessons that future employers want to see. In Daniel Goleman’s best-selling book, Working with Emotional Intelligence, he cites studies conducted at some of the top companies in America where employers were asked specifically what they are looking for in a candidate. Most prevalent among those answers was the ability to get along with others, great interpersonal skills, self-control, conflict management and building bonds. The answers listed were not indicators of intelligence or even specific job skills. The responses were rooted in the foundation of what makes a good employee. In a Ted

Talk on emotional intelligence, Katherine Fortier comments: “educational psychologists said that if you teach social and emotional skills to children, they perform better, behave better in the classroom and their grades actually perform. Social and emotional success is important for job success, school success and building satisfying, healthy relationships.” On a typical day at a CDC, we teach children important social and emotional lessons while children are engaged in the play and interest area of their choosing. The opportunities for learning how to work with others and control one’s own emotions are widely available in this setting. Teachers work with children on conflict management, self-regulation and self-control. For example, when we facilitate circle time in the morning, we are working to help your child control their impulses, whether they want to shout out an answer or move on to play in an area that they prefer. The children are learning about impulse control and self-regulation, specifically that they cannot do exactly what they want to do and how to manage their own emotions. When children get upset and want to harm another child or him/herself or

express frustration, we work on helping that child understand how to express themselves in fundamental ways and work out disagreements with other children on their own. By facilitating a child’s ability to solve the conflicts by proposing different solutions, we give children the power to facilitate conflict resolutions on their own. This is the foundation for emotional intelligence and strength in the adult world. Organizational psychologists talk about how emotional intelligence prepares the individual to interview better, get a better recommendation from their supervisor and thereby be more successful in the job. Instead of focusing on pressuring our children to beat the learning curve and perform tasks earlier and better, we need to focus on teaching our children social and emotional skills. 



Naha Great Tug-of-War



he people of Okinawa take their tug-of-wars, or “chinafuichi” in the language of the Ryukyu Islands, quite seriously. In October of 1997, a rope measuring 186 meters in length (610 feet) was made from rice straw for the annual Naha City Festival’s Great Tug-of-War. This rope, which weighed 40,220 kilograms (90,495 pounds), was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as “the largest tug-of-war rope made from natural materials in the world.” While many may consider a 610foot tug-of-war rope a bit excessive, the rope continued to grow even longer over the years—finally settling on a length of around 200 meters (a little over 656 feet). The Naha O-tsunahiki, (the ‘O’ stands for “great”) held in Japan’s southernmost prefecture also boasts a long history— over 350 years. Contests used to be held in many villages throughout the Ryukyu Archipelago to give thanks for an especially good harvest, to pray for rain, and to keep away disease. Villagers in Okinawa would gather together to weave the separate “mîzunna” (female) section and the “ûzunna” or

male sections of rope, and on the event day, the two sections were connected together with a pin called a kanuchi. After opening ceremonies, two teams, dressed in traditional mumunchi hanta (a black costume trimmed in white worn during) would compete in the pulling contest. Tsunahiki, like many other activities, were halted during and after the war; however, many were revived and are still held in Itoman, Yonabaru, Kin, Oroku and other towns and cities. The Naha City O-tsunahiki is now the largest event of its kind in the world. Every year in Naha, teams are broken roughly into “west” and “east.” Although the rope has grown much too long to be woven by hand (today the rope is woven using cranes and forklifts), it is a continuing source of pride for the people of Okinawa, growing progressively longer every year despite a growing shortage of locally-grown rice. Unlike the tsunahiki held in the prefectures, Naha O-Tsunahiki participants cut the rope up into pieces after the contest and take the pieces home with them—it is considered good luck. Other than the length of the rope and

the pre-and post-ceremonies, the rules of the contest are quite simple—the side that pulls the rope a total of five meters wins. If neither team pulls five-meters worth of rope, the side that pulls the rope two meters is declared the victor. If neither team can muster enough gumption to drag their opponents two meters in 30 minutes, the contest is declared a tie. After the match, both winners and losers dance the ­kachâshî—a traditional dance that symbolizes joy. This year’s Naha Matsuri will be held from October 10 to 12. The festival itself, which will feature traditional eisa dance performances, live bands, local foods and more will take place at the nearby Ônoyama Sports Park and the rope-pulling contest will take place on Highway 58 near the Kumoji Intersection. Parking is extremely limited; however, MCCS Tours+ will be offering a Naha Tugof-War Festival tour. Call MCCS Tours+ at 646-3502 for more information. 



Undo-kai n

LOCALEVENTS Noguni Soukan Festival October 3–4 Kadena Kaneku Seaside Park This event is held in honor of Noguni Soukan, the man who brought sweet potatoes from China to Okinawa about 400 years ago. The festival is also held to wish for a rich sweet potato harvest and includes Eisa performances and other festivities. To get there, head north on Highway 58 past Kadena Air Base. Take the first left after you pass the entrance to Kadena Marina, and enter the Navel Kadena parking lot. Kaneku Seaside Park is located behind Navel Kadena.


n Japan, autumn is considered the best season for sports activities, reading, art, and enjoying cuisine. During autumn, Japanese expressions such as “geijitsu-no-aki” (fall; the season of the arts) and “shokuyoku-noaki” (fall; the season of the appetite) are heard more often in conversation and on television, and many schools hold art exhibitions and sporting events. Although the weather is still warm on the island, many Okinawan schools also hold sporting meets called undô-kai during the month of October. Undô-kai are very popular for both children and parents alike. During undô-kai, each homeroom class competes with other classes in a variety of athletic events such as relay races,

three-legged races, obstacle courses and tug-of-wars. On Okinawa, students also perform traditional Ryukyu dances and eisa drumming along with athletic activities. Many schools begin preparations for undô-kai several weeks in advance. Because whole extended families come to cheer for their children, grandchildren, brothers or sisters, school grounds are filled with spectators. Some parents even go to school a day in advance to stake out the best position. While children are busy struggling with event-day butterflies, parents are even busier. Parents must prepare bento lunches, elbow for the best position to take pictures and video of their children, as well as participate in races with the kids. 


BOTTOM PHOTO- monkeybusinessimages/

Japanese-style Seasoned Pumpkin

Shuri Castle Festival October 31–November 2 Shuri Castle Enjoy traditional dance, music, a parade, a reenactment of the coronation ceremony, and more. To get to Shuri Castle, head south on Highway 58 toward Naha. Once you pass Camp Kinser, keep to the far left lane. Turn left onto Route 82 and follow the signs to Shuri Castle. MCCS Tours+ will be offering a tour to this event; call 646-3502 for details.


UCHINAGUCHICORNER Uchinaguchi: Shikandâ!

Ingredients (serves four) One half kabocha (a small Japanese pumpkin, usually green) 3 1/2 tbsp. sugar 1 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce 1 1/2 cup dashi soup (made from dried bonito flakes) Method of Preparation: 1. Scoop seeds out of the pumpkin and peel. 2. Cut the pumpkin into slices approximately two inches thick, soak in water for 2-3 minutes, and drain well. 3. Place pumpkin pieces into a deep pan, skin-side down.

Naha Festival October 10–12 Naha City Take part in one of Okinawa’s biggest festivals, which kicks off with a parade and includes the Naha Great Tug-of-War held on Highway 58. There will be fireworks all three days of the festival. To get there, head south on Highway 58 towards the airport. Once in Naha, turn left at the Kumoji Intersection and go straight until you see the Palette Kumoji Ryubo Department Store on the right. Expect a lot of traffic and limited parking. MCCS Tours+ will be offering a tour to this event; call 646-3502 for details.

Japanese: Bikkuri shita! Add dashi soup, and cook with high heat. 4. Lower heat and add sugar until completely dissolved (be careful not to damage pumpkin slices). Cook for 7–8 minutes with low heat. 5. Add soy sauce, and cook for an additional 3–4 minutes. 6. Lower heat, cover pan and simmer until pumpkin is tender.

English: That startled (scared) me!


Okinawa Living Magazine  

October 2015

Okinawa Living Magazine  

October 2015