Destination: Okinawa, Japan
Book: Island Story (NEW 2010) by Ayumu Takahashi
Hippie Commune or Utopia? With a “Hey kids, let’s put on a show” naiveté””, Takahashi returns from a round the world trip with his wife and says, “Why not build a self-sufficient village overflowing with music and art?”
Their cheerful belief never flags through eight sometimes discouraging years of searching for a place, recruiting volunteers, learning needed skills, and finding resources. Despite early missteps that make enemies of the residents, the young transplants have, in fact, built a community, that still exists, and you can visit it today.
By 2008, Takahashi, then 36, and the “founding fathers” have moved on to other things, which makes sense. As much as everyone might want to stay in their youth for every, the Peter Pan dreams can’t last for ever.
Early plans literally included a tree house, beach fort, and pirate ship all fueled by vast quantities of beer and punk rock. Language in the book tends to the vacuuous, reverting to words I haven’t heard strung together since the early seventies– “Vibes, cool, Wow, Yay!, Peace!” The depth of the thought that went into the enterprise shows in this mantra:
Okinawa is wonderful
Nature is wonderful
Friends are wonderful
Life is really wonderful.
On the other hand, the book as novel as the enterprise, and shows gorgeous photography of Okinawa. Maybe I’m just too old and cynical. Cool!
Win a trip to Okinawa. Deadline August 25th. Go to One Peace Books, the publisher of this book, and publisher of other inspiration and picture-filled books.