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Ideal Roommates May 28, 2010

Posted by Elisa Hough in Language, Music.
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During our last week, Jojo and I filmed a music video for his band Please Quiet Ourselves. Jojo toted those masks around to Nakagusuku Castle, Kogen Hotel, Naha, and all over Okinawa City so we could present to you this:

A cab driver brought Jojo to tears by teaching him this Okinawan proverb: ichariba chode. Once we meet, we are brothers and sisters. We felt that strongly in Okinawa, being so quickly taken in by friends, and friends of friends of friends.This fraternal philosophy inspired the video.


Tour of the Haunted Brothel April 23, 2010

Posted by Elisa Hough in History, Photos.
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So that you don’t have to risk being haunted by Okinawan ghosts, we at oki yo! have put our spiritual well-being at stake to give you a virtual tour of the infamous, possibly former mega-brothel, Kogen Hotel.

It starts at Nakagusuku Castle, the ruins left of a 600-year-old fortress in Okinawa City. It’s a peaceful spot with a panoramic view of the island.

But the real ruins are just across a field, over there. (This photo is a little sneak peak of the upcoming Please Quiet Ourselves music video.)


The Real Ruins at Nakagusuku Castle April 19, 2010

Posted by Jojo in History.
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A few months ago at the beginning of our trip, Elisa’s brother Allan and I stumbled upon a mysterious abandoned hotel behind Nakagusuku Castle. The sign in Japanese probably said something like: “あぶない!はいるない!” But of course neither of us are able to read Kanji, so naturally we started to explore the inside.

The whole place was gutted and filled with graffiti, but it felt a hell of a lot scarier than similar places I’ve been to back home. Mostly there were guest rooms with beds, but also gigantic deep-soak tubs and a few large reception halls. Curiously none of the rooms had sufficient natural lighting (or none at all), leading me to believe that it must have been a mega-brothel for Vietnam-era American soldiers.

After crossing a modest-sized bridge and passing a tradition Japanese style gate (now it might as well have been Spirited Away. I was spooked!), we entered the second section of the hotel. It towered high over Nakagusuku Castle, but didn’t appear to be more than a concrete shell. It was perhaps a parking lot, because there was a small car in the basement floor, which looked like it was doused in gasoline and scorched. The view from the top was as Allan’s dad best described, “commanding,” allowing one to look out in all directions over the entire island.

Yeah, it was amazing.