Okinawa archipelago was an independent country known as the Ryukyu Kingdom from 1429 to 1879.
Due to its strategic location along trading route between Japan, China and Southeast Asia, it developed a unique culture borrowing from all its neighbors.
When the Ryukyu Kingdom was unified in 1429, the royal family built a castle on the small hill overlooking the present city of Naha to show its power over the island.
Shuri Castle become the residence of the king and served as the site for religious rituals.
It became the political and administrative center of kingdom.
Okinawa is subtropical and consists of some 60 islands, known collectively as the Ryukyu Island.
Agriculture is limited to sugarcane, pineapple and vegetables and main industry is tourism.
The Okinawa people have preserved their ancestor’s religious festival, music, traditional foods and historic sites.