OKINAWA: A Tiger by the Tail by M. D. Morris

OKINAWA: A Tiger by the Tail

Email this review


Little enough is available on Okinawa for the general reader to make any reasonably knowledgeable book a contribution. Certainly, Morris' survey of the island's history and speculations on its future more than meets that standard. Morris was an engineer in Okinawa shortly after World War II and has since visited there (including the Ryuku Islands, now considered part of Okinawa). His book, which follows no particular order, does, however, demonstrate his initial thesis that Okinawa is ""the Poland of the Pacific""--for generations, it has been the shuttlecock of Japan and the United States. In 1945, Okinawa was put under an American military governor and an American occupation force remains today. There has been considerable agitation for land reform, and currently Okinawans are paid for the use of their land--but no landowner has the right to refuse to ""rent"" his property. Morris tells of the economic and cultural--as well as governmental--influence of the United States and of the counter movements toward return of the island to Japan. He is best on the personal anecdotes, the portraits of the people, and good also on the intricacies of the relationship between Okinawans and the army of occupation. Included also are suggestions for amendment of American policy which stress that Okinawa become more than a ""political infant""--i.e., manage its own affairs. A competent book.

Pub Date: Dec. 6th, 1968
Publisher: Hawthorn