Photo by Isao Tobaru
October 20, 2016
Higashi, Okinawa Island
Riot police officers (deployed from various prefectures including Tokyo and Osaka) outnumber local protesters. This week, one officer was recorded on video calling protesters “idiots” and “savages,” while another used a derogatory word for Chinese.
These awesome ladies are taking Japan by storm. They’re KBG84, a one-of-a-kind Japanese girl band comprised of 33 singing, dancing grandmothers. The name of the band is a play on the name of different Japanese girl band called AKB48. The ‘48′ refers to the number of girls in that band, whereas the ‘84′ refers to the average age of the members of KBG84. However the oldest member, Haru Yamashiro, is 97 years old!
KBG84 is from the remote island of Kohama in Okinawa and their first single, “Come on and Dance, Kohama Island”, has reached the top of the Japanese music charts. And they’ve just finished a completely sold out country-wide tour. These grannies are unstoppable!
“When I first heard someone calling us ‘idols’ I thought an idol meant someone who has lived a long life and was at the gates of heaven,” said 92-year-old diva Tomi Menaka. “But in Tokyo they told me it was an entertainer – which was a relief because I thought it meant I was on my way to heaven.”
“We felt like stars in Tokyo,” added 86-year-old Hideko Kedamori. “Everyone in the audience had a big smile, which gave us the energy to sing our hearts out. We’re blessed to have been born in Kohama. Our lyrics are about the island and nature – whales in the sea spouting or dolphins doing somersaults.”
Tiny Pacific Atoll of Miyako-Jima, found about half way between Okinawa and Taiwan (managed by Okinawa). Total population of the area is about 50,000 humans, and that’s one impressive set of offshore reefs in this shot
The American flag is set on fire as Japanese protesters demand the closure of the U.S. military base in Okinawa, weeks after the abduction and rape of a 12-year-old girl by three U.S. servicemen. October 22, 1995