Saturday, September 10, 2016

"into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida" - Uniqueness of Okinawa, Japan


Uniqueness of Okinawa, Japan

It is said in a city with population less than 300,000, you can be easily identified by others such as the police if a certain incident occurs and you might surely encounter your acquaintances in a place where you do not expect such an encounter in the long run.

Accordingly, some smart guys, including some criminals, want to live or work in a big city with population of more than one million.

In Japanese villages in old times, there was an untold rule of ostracism.  If a villager did something that gravely provoked others, if not a criminal, and did not compensate damage, the person would be treated as if  he or she did not exist in the village.  Every human relation and  companionship would be rejected except in the cases of funerals and fires.  Then, in some cases, a  villager ostracized had to leave the village because the person could not live normally any more.

This kind of social customs can be seen any small communities in the world.  Villagers envy others, have a grudge against one another,  and have their prides hurt and neglected.  If there were no rules and authority to govern villagers, a village can be easily fallen apart.  If villagers got their revenge on one another without restriction, no order and peace could be maintained in a village.

Accordingly, people would behave cautiously and get sensitive to others' moods in local villages everywhere in the world.  It is because every member of a village knows every other member.

To avoid such evil, one has to leave his village  and come to a big city.  Then, he would be freed from close censorship by other villagers.  But, in a big city, there are too many temptations in addition to too many criminals.

Traditionally, Asians were living in such local communities with various restrictions.  Even in capitals and big cities of their countries were under strong control of their native rulers who also controlled religions of their countries.  Then since the 16th century, Westerners started to invade and colonize Asian regions.  And, if native rulers of those Asian regions could not cope with Western military power and surrender, local people in the regions had to just follow their rulers.  It is because Western colonialists used old systems and regimes of regions to effectively control their-colonized territories.  So, if a local villager who wanted to be free from old customs in his village fled from the village to a capital, they had to face another cruel rule by Western colonialists who mostly set their colonial bases in big cities.

Especially in Islamic nations, restriction imposed on villagers was strong.  Even if they came to live in their capitals, still religious restriction was strong.  And Western countries have strong influences on their governments in their capitals.  It would be very difficult for them to be free, if they ever wished to be free.

In Japan, the ratio of urban population against its whole population is 92.49% while the UK 82.09%, Canada 81.47%, the US 81.28%, France 79.06%, Germany 74.89%, Italy 68.69%, China 53.17%, Thailand 47.94%,  and India 31.99%.

Japan is a highly urbanized Asian nation; most of Japanese are free from old or traditional social restriction as have been found in local villages in older days.  But, in Japan, Okinawa Prefecture, an island province in the East China Sea with population 1.4 million, seems to be still under conditions of close relationship and strong restriction in terms of social life of people.  It might have unique influence on the fact that Okinawa has more US military bases since the end of WWII than any other prefectures in Japan.
Okinawa Prefecture in Japan today might somewhat look like an old Western colony, though there are more human empathy in Okinawa that cannot be frequently seen in Tokyo and other big Japanese cities outside Okinawa.

Note: Okinawa prefecture constitutes 0.6% of Japan's land surface, yet as of 2006, 75% of all United States Forces Japan (USFJ) bases were located on Okinawa, and U.S. military bases occupied 18% of the main island.

singapore to okinawa via Tokyo

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Luk 9:10 And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.
Luk 9:11 And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.