James Whitlow Delano
  • "The first thing you notice when you arrive in Okinawa from other parts of Japan is that everything looks different. The sounds are different. The air is heavy and tropical. The music has a minimalist, almost Gaelic lilt, laid over the staccato plucking on the strings of an Okinawan 'shamisen.' You’ve arrived in an island chain unlike anywhere else in Japan” says documentary photographer, <a href="http://jameswhitlowdelano.photoshelter.com" target="external">James Whitlow Delano</a>. Pictured here: Crystal-clear waters of Kabira Bay, Ishigaki Island, Okinawa.
    James Whitlow Delano
  • Young dancers at the Densaa Matsuri in the remote village of Uehara on Iriomote Island, Okinawa Prefecture.
    James Whitlow Delano
  • A man collects beach umbrellas from Aharen Beach on Tokashiki Island as an afternoon storm looms in the Kerama Archipelago.
    James Whitlow Delano
  • A young boy runs past a gate at the Shuri Castle, constructed in meticulously fit stone and built as a Ryukyuan sacred place in Naha, called Sonohyan-utaki. The gate was built under the orders of King Sho Shin in 1519 where the king would often pray.
    James Whitlow Delano
  • Full-grown whale sharks ease through the Kuroshio Sea tank at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Nago, Okinawa. The acrylic glass panel of 24-inch-thick glass is one of the largest in the world.
    James Whitlow Delano
  • Anti-U.S. military base relocation protesters in front of Camp Schwab at Henoko, where the highly controversial U.S. Marines helicopter base in Futema, near Naha, is to be relocated. The photographer comments, "Okinawans have a complicated relationship, not only with the Americans who have bases on the island, but they also have a contentious relationship with what they describe of as 'mainland' Japan."
    James Whitlow Delano
  • A mother and her son out for a walk on the beachfront in Fukugi, named after a waxy-leafed broadleaf tree planted throughout Okinawa.
    James Whitlow Delano
  • Okinawa soba is different from mainland soba because it is not made with buckwheat but wheat.
    James Whitlow Delano
  • Looking out over sugar cane fields on Ishigaki Island, part of the Yaeyama Islands.
    James Whitlow Delano
  • Performers leave the Tanadui Matsuri (a festival) through the sandy streets of the coral island of Taketomi, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The Tanadui Masturi is a 600 year history on Taketomi and has been designated by the Japanese government as an important intangible cultural heritage. The festival is held in part to ensure a good harvest.
    James Whitlow Delano
  • A performer at the Tanadui Matsuri on the small coral island of Taketomi, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.
    James Whitlow Delano
  • A young man rides his skateboard into American Village next to the U.S. Air Force Kadena Air Base in Mihama, Okinawa.
    James Whitlow Delano
  • A small temporary shop set up in American Village next to the U.S. Air Force Kadena Air Base in Mihama.
    James Whitlow Delano
  • Fish feed on the pristine coral found off Tokashiki Island in the Kerama Islands, Okinawa, Japan.
    James Whitlow Delano
  • A local performer at the Dansaa Matsuri Uehara on the remote island of Iriomote, Okinawa.
    James Whitlow Delano
  • Misako Miyagi, the widow of an Imperial Army officer, works in her garden, where she raises vegetables, and greens.
    James Whitlow Delano
  • Misako Miyagi, the widow of an Imperial Army officer, offers a dragon fruit from her garden.
    James Whitlow Delano
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