Thursday, October 27, 2011

Live to Party

The Okinawan people have a reputation for enjoying one of the longest, if not the longest lifespan on the planet and I think I finally figured out why that’s so! Admittedly, there are a lot of different theories out there and I’ll even go out of my way to say that some of them may have some merit. For example, there is the Okinawan Diet Program where you only eat till your stomach is 80% full. That one is written by two doctors from Canada and a local professor from the nearby University of the Ryukyu’s. They could have just listened to Dr. Laura before they yanked her off the air. She always said the secret losing weight and a healthier and subsequently longer life was to “move more and eat less.”

Then there is that old dude on the late-nite TV infomercials selling his coral calcium supplement stuff. On that one, I’m a bit confused. It seems that the “greenies” are all up in arms about the loss of coral reefs here in Okinawa and anything that might remotely be a strain on the environment but, they seem to not notice that this guy and his company are ripping up the reefs around Miyako-jima in pursuit of the stuff faster than that hypocrite anti-capitalist and all round commie from Hollyweird, Michael Moore, can rip through a seven course meal at a five star restaurant.

Guess the coral calcium guy isn’t trading his company on Wall Street or else he’s figured out that the greenies don’t watch anything other than the Discovery Channel and the left wing nut job screamers on that alleged cable “snooze” network MS-LSD, MS-DNC, PMS-NBC or whatever the hell it’s called. He’s off their radar screen, at least for the moment. As soon as someone figures out he’s exploiting the environment without Al gore’s expressed written permission or worse yet, makes a profit at it, they’ll be on him like stink on you know what!

So while I’ll admit that what you put into your body has an effect on your health, my theory as to why the Okinawan people live so long is quite different. Just this last weekend, my in-laws had a special celebration. One thing I’ve learned from living in Okinawa is that Okinawan’s will go out of their way to look for an excuse to celebrate and throw a party. So my in-laws both turned 72 years old this year and as it just so happens, here on Okinawa that calls for a celebration called “Koki!” Koki is a celebration for having lived 73 years. But, you may have just noticed, they are only 72 this year. So were they cheating you ask, no, at least not really?

You see here in Okinawa, even though this is technically Japan, they still do things based on the old Chinese ways and the Chinese way is to count the years from the beginning vice the western practice of waiting till the end of the year before counting it. So here in Okinawa, if your 72 by western standards, your 73 in Chinese years. Not quite the same thing as counting in dog years but it does come in handy when your filing for social security benefits or those all important AARP discounts!

Then my brother-in-law, the cop, showed my wife a list of all the different parties that we have to look forward to celebrating in the coming years. I say that we have to look forward to them because just like this one, we’ll all be chipping in to pay for it. These party years start at age 61 or 60 in western years. This is the age when most folks retire here in Japan. Maybe that’s why there isn’t a name for it on the list. For the first one, it’s sort of here’s your gold watch now don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out!

The next big party is Koki at 73 and then there’s Kijiyu at 77, Sanjiyu at 80, Beijyu at 88, Sotsujyu at 90, Hakujyu at 99 and Hiyakuga at 100. Conspicuously absent on the list he showed us was a party that I had heard about and had seen on the local news media. It’s called the Kajimaiya at age 97. I guess when you get that long in the tooth; you can be forgiven for forgetting a few things here and there. That being said, there are probably a few other special dates missing from that list. When we remember them, I guess we’ll just have to throw a party.

So my theory is that everyone loves a good party and since Okinawan’s, based on my living here for all these years and my astute scientific observations, love to party more than most folks should be allowed to by law. That is why they live so long. They just have too many good times and an awful lot of partying to look forward to.

This year we started out with a nice luncheon for the whole family at a local Chinese Restaurant and then we headed out for some Karaoke. I’m glad we had the opportunity to do so before George Soros and the Rothschild family decide that they’ve stolen enough of the rest of the world’s money and the whole system crashes and burns. The next big party is four years from now. If by chance all them conspiracy theorists are right, by then we’ll be lucky just to eat water. I just hope there’s a few greenies left that haven’t been shipped off to the concentration or excuse me, the “re-education” camps so that it’s still clean enough to drink.


  1. I only lived in Okinawa for 4 years in the early 1990's, but I had the opportunity to return for 3 months this year. Luckily for me, my daughter moved back and lives in Uruma now.
    Your perception is right on. I always thought the same about Okinawans. They love to party, and they love to smile. No matter what age, it's apparent.

  2. Thanks Kim. Another thing is if you know just a few words in the local dialect, that gets them smiling even more and many, just for showing this small amount of respect, will practically give you the shirt off their backs!