Taiwan and Okinawa

My first posting,
I am not sure if this topic had ever been mentioned or discussed,
so please forgive me if this topic had been already posted.

hello its very nice to see you all. :notworthy:

I always have been curious what common or similiar points do Taiwan and Okinawan islands(especialy Yonaguni,Hateruma,Iriomote, Ishigaki, Miyako where locate western part of Okinawan prefecture) share mutually?

If you look at the map closely,western part of Okinawan prefecture(administrative name) clearly locate closer to Taiwan than Japanese main island and even slightly closer than the Okinawa main island.

Thank you for reading and I will wait for your answers.

People in Naha are much more relaxed and friendly than the Japanese, and they have a much more lively culture full of song and other music. Not sure about the botany, but I know Ishigaki is full of jungle.

The old Ryukyu kingdom had a very close relationship with China (and Taiwan) for hundreds of years, and there was a lot of trade, cultural exchanges, etc. One of the major influences on the development of the Okinawan martial arts (and not Japanese “karate”) mostly came from Taiwan and Fujian Province (where most of the “Taiwanese” came from).

Read Okinawa: A History of an Island People by George Kerr ( Yes, that George Kerr)

Thank you for all of your kind answers,

Please keep posting your answers when you find more things about my question.

I have two more questions about living style and language between the two,
Do Taiwanese prefer sitting on the chair or floor when they are staying at home.

According to my humble knowledges,Mainland Chinese people traditionally prefer sitting on the chair and Mainland Japanese people prefer sitting on the floor when they are staying or resting at home.

What about Taiwanese(I meant native Formosians) and Okinawans(Ryukans) traditionally do ?

About language,Do formosian indigenous language have any common things with indigenous Ryukan language?

Thank you very much for reading.

During the last ice age the Ryukus were connected to Japan proper, but the water between Okinawa and Taiwan was too deep and thus Taiwan remained out of reach from the people of Okinawa to simply walk. There is a circular current along the eastern side of Taiwan between the Philippines and Okinawa that may have facilitated trade between the Okinawans and austronesian Taiwanese, but there is no linguistic, cultural or genetic evidence thus far linking the two peoples. Okinawa HAS played a significant role in trade with Taiwan for 500 years.

As far as your other questions go… Taiwanese are a modern people who sit in chairs, but retain many Japanese customs and conventions from Taiwan’s half century as a japanese colony.

What is your purpose for this information?

well,thank you for your answer.

I am just very interested in martime nations’ history and culture in Asia.

Maowang, I think you made a slight misinterpretation. I think the whole chair thing was talking about in terms of Aboriginal traditions rather than modern Taiwanese lifestyle.

The people on Okinawa and nearby islands of that chain refer to Japan as “that other country” in Japanese, as an alien universe compared to Okinawa. They consider their homeland to be non-Japanese. They dislike the central Japanese government in Tokyo immensely and would love to be an independent country.

It’s the weather:
Okinawa - pick a mango, have a swim, eat a fish etc.
Tokyo - work hard for a measly little burdock root and handful of rice.

The Okinawans didn’t invade China it was the Yamato of central Honshu. All that Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere Imperialist stuff comes from the hungry Honshu-ites not the more ‘pacific’ Okinawans

First off, Taiwanese are Han Chinese. the Okinawans, however, were heavily influenced by the Han cultures of Fujian province (where Taiwanese are derived from). That explains the cultural similarities between Okinawans and Taiwan province of China.

Most certainly not all of them (such as the native Aboriginal population), and there is quite an arguable case for saying that even the majority are not ethnically Han Chinese.


But Brian, if Taiwanese aren’t all ethnically Chinese China wouldn’t have any legitmate ethnicity-based claim on Taiwan!

I actually think that Bu Lai En posted some references to a book regarding the ethnical makeup of Taiwanese (Hoklos and Hakkas).

Also, It would be a safe bet to say that a large proportion of the Han settlers here were men. They needed wives, and got them among the Pingpu. Repeat this a few times over a few generations, and they might be culturally similar to Han, but hardly genetic han.

Anyone who thinks that the Taiwanese are pure Han has never been down South. I regularly mistake many “native” Taiwanese in Tainan for Filipinos.

Ah, but what’s in a name? Just what does “Han” mean? Most educated, politically sensitive mainlanders are more likely to tell you that Han refers to ethnic identity rather than anything genetic. There have been plenty of ethnic groups that were once considered non-Han but that are now considered Han. Of course few mainlanders would ever consider the idea that the door could swing both ways and that a new ethnic group could split away from the Han. The contemporary usage of the word Han is, well, contemporary usage. You can probably see this in the different ways it is used in the PRC and ROC. Even pro-unification ROC citizens seem to use Han much less than mainlanders. The meaning and usage of the word are very much products of the PRC. Like most ethnic labels, the meaning of Han is slippery, always changing and highly subjective.

You silly boy. Ethnicity never stopped the PRC from subjugating peoples that even Beijing says are non-Han.

No need for the cumbersome tail on this sentence. We all know what your leanings are.

I said that there is a strong argument that the majority (Hoklop) population fo Taiwan are not Han Chinese, becuase it was relevant to the thread, in that cheapfujianese was basically saying that Taiwanese are Han, but Okinawans are not.

But a detailed argument about the ethnicity of Taiwanese, or of the Hoklo majority should (and already has) take place in another thread.

This one is supposed to be about Taiwan and Okinawa. I’d be really interested in learning more about the connections. Both (and Xiamen) were part of Koxinaga and his father’s pirate/smuggler network. The history of the connections between South Japan, Okinawa, The Ryukus and Taiwan must be fascinating.

Anyone know more?


If Hoklo are not Han, then that would mean European settlers in the USA are not White. Or Hispanics/Latino can never by White in the USA either.

Best just accept the common sense divisions society has already set up, especially if the divsion is based on 5,000 years of history. You’d have better luck reconstructing ethnic groupings that are 200 years old.

No, it would mean that their descendants are not European.

But this is off-topic. If you want to debate it (asssuming you are capable of debate), raise it in nother thread.