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tv   Quadriga - International Debate from Berlin  LINKTV  June 20, 2022 11:00am-11:31am PDT

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(sophie fouron) this is japan. but people here don't call themselves japanese. it's okinawa, an island closer to taiwan than tokyo. there's something like a million and a half people here, and they're known to live longer than anyone else on the planet. there's a very strong american presence in okinawa. not only did the americans occupy the island after the second world war, they stayed. there's a very big military presence. the fact that these old enemies coexist on this tiny island, but coexist peacefully, says a lot about the people of okinawa.
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there are a lot of cars. drive-throughs everywhere, car dealers everywhere. that's just the way it is. (edo heinrich-sanchez) okinawa, main island, is the prefecture and has taken the name, but a lot of people refer to it as the ryukyu islands, which encompass everything. there are over 1000 islands. not all of them are populated, but many of those islands are. okinawa has had the ability to trade and connect with many
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cultures, many people, and they call it the "chanpuru", like a stir-fried culture. so you have different elements, which have all come together to create a kind of unique identity. (sophie fouron) edo heinrich-sanchez, ocean and environment advocate. born in the caribbean, raised in the canary islands, he settled in okinawa over 25 years ago. and these are his islands. (edo heinrich-sanchez) okinawa was the place of the bloodiest battle in japan, the battle of okinawa. the okinawans were kind of caught in the middle between the japanese and the u.s. forces. a lot of the older okinawans feel that the americans, the g.i.'s, had treated them very well until time went on, and they were here. so it turned from a force that perhaps liberated them from the situation, to an occupation
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force. you might have seen and heard that here in okinawa, you have many people that are demonstrating against the military basis. but it's amazing to where people will be demonstrating, but then they'll be going to a barbecue with their american neighbours. so people in okinawa have a really good relationship with americans, with the u.s., and they have overwhelming patience on this ongoing situation. (emily manco) i don't know if you notice, but the y plates, that is all americans. "y" for "yankee". that is how you know if it is an american or if it's a local japanese. so we are identifiable with our car. - you are kidding! - yes. so that's how you know, these are all locals and then we have the "y" plate.
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(sophie fouron) so there are two communities living peacefully together, but they're two distinct communities. - that's right. sometimes, we are able to mesh and go to places in the neighbourhood and then there are also places where we live our very separate lives. this community, this neighbourhood is very mixed. my house's side is mostly all americans and this side of the neighbourhood, as you see, is mostly all okinawans. (sophie fouron) there are some people who live on base and never go out. is that true? (emily manco) yes. i have met families that stay on base their entire tour here. and they have all their
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amenities on base that they need for their day-to-day life, and they choose to stay on the military bases. - o.k. you do see my face? - that's my reaction too, right, and that's marisela's reaction. yes, it's very, very surprising why folks choose to make that decision. there's so much here, not to mention the delicious food. you know? - yeah. what are the restaurants on the base? - typical chain restaurants. anything of that nature. - yes, hamburgers, yeah. - yes, hamburgers, french fries. - fried chicken. - yeah, anything. (sophie fouron) you know, it's good for living longer and healthier. - oh yeah, everybody needs a little fried chicken. (sophie fouron) there are a lot of cars on this island. - for as small as it is. - for as small as it is! they're everywhere. the car dealers are everywhere. - the american sized vehicles aren't, you really don't see many of that size here. you see much smaller vehicles that
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accommodate the roads. so yeah, you come here and you choose your car, and you're given the keys and the titles, and insurance like everywhere else. and you're off. - easy process though. - very easy process. (edo heinrich-sanchez) we're practically at gridlock. tourism here, they say: "oh, you can rent a car, very cheap, in okinawa." the adventure of driving yourself nowhere. most of the people that somehow can't drive end up on the buses, the few people. it's expensive, it's inconvenient, it's late, and it reduces your freedom. nobody wants to do that, so they rather get into a car where the have the promise of freedom, but they'll be stuck in traffic. (emily manco) o.k. (sophie fouron)
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let's do this. hello! (emily manco) we have a very eclectic mix of food here, just at this one restaurant. taco rice is a mix of rice and taco meat. - it's so okinawan. - it's very okinawan. it's a mix of american food that is not quite american, mixed with an okinawan feel to it by adding the rice. - well, you can have my french fries. - yeah. - look at that! it's one layer okinawan, it's one layer american and it's one layer mexican-american. (sophie fouron) what's a guy like you doing here? (chuck de cesari) i came here when i was 23 years old. i was in the marine corps. i spent three years, did a mediterranean tour, so i got to see europe. and my last year, they sent me over here. i did not want to come here. i knew i hated japan. i knew i hated the marine corps. there was no way i
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was ever going to be happy on okinawa. i didn't like japanese people. i didn't know there was a difference, you know? i didn't like anybody. - because of second world war? i mean, because of the whole history between americans and japanese? - i think, you know, all my uncles, and everything... fought over here. so i think i had a little bit of a bitter taste in my mouth. i came here and i met katsuyo, and she changed my life. (sophie fouron) you decided to follow your heart and really go against your family's will. (katsuyo de cesari) yeah. - you didn't feel torn? you know, your father didn't speak to you for the longest time. - ah yes, of course. there was a time when i was very upset. i felt like i was between my husband and my family. and i'm sure i put my mom in the same situation. she was between me and my dad. so, you know, at that time,
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everybody had a hard time. - the first time i was brought to the house, you know, when you're getting introduced to the parents - that important step - her dad wouldn't talk to me. and her mom showed up. she said: "you're not welcome in my house." i said: "you're always welcome in our house." well, when i said "our" house, she said: "you're living together?" that's what we're trying to tell you, we're married! and she shouted across the table, started trying to hit me. i actually know that she... not regrets doing it, but she would have handled it differently had she known me like she knows me now. - is it because you were american? - it was because i wasn't okinawan. (sophie fouron) what about the rest of the family and the community? are they proud that you married one of theirs? (chuck de cesari) i don't know if proud is the right word, but they are very accepting to the fact that, not only did i marry somebody
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from here, but i wanted to come back and live here. so many people are leaving ogimi. i mean, even in the city office, when we came back to check in, the first question they asked was: "did chuck lose his job?" "no." "are you guys getting divorced?" ''no.'' ''we're buying a house here." "because nobody comes back to ogimi." (sophie fouron) the fact that you have kids, that brings you to another level of integration. (chuck de cesari) it does. i think one of the additional things that drive me to want to fit in and be part of it, is to not make them uncomfortable. when their parents don't hear how bad the american was, or how bad the foreigner was, the kids in school don't tend to have that. i think my daughter actually feels special about it. her hair is a little bit lighter than most of the kids in the school. when she was younger, the little kids would ask me that if they spoke enough english to me,
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would their hair turn the same color as yuzuki's hair. (sophie fouron) apparently, there's the highest quantity of people over 100 years old here. - yeah, percentage wise. actually, there's a man who lives across the street from me, he's 100 years old and rides a motorcycle. - no way! - i think people here don't decide that they're old. you know? i mean like they say, "the attitude". and it's true. this is my mother-in-law. her name is kikue. she's 84 right now. she will be 85 next month. it's not what a typical 85-year-old is, but she feels like she's one of the young ones here. (sophie fouron) everyone wonders why people live so long here. (chuck de cesari) i think exercise, hard work, and i think family. the people here that get older, they know
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they're going to be living at home until they can't do it anymore. they're not concerned about where they're going to live, how they're going to make it. they're going to be part of the family. she grows a lot of what she eats. she has what she calls her gardens, but they're small little plots of farmland all around. they use any area that's flat and nice. they don't waste. (sophie fouron) broccoli is there. tomatoes are there. (chuck de cesari) the okinawans have a specific pig that's only here. this is an
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okinawan pig. - i see. - it's called agu . - yeah? and they eat a lot of pork, i've noticed. - much more pork than beef. pork, chicken and fish. - right. - for the most part, up here, a lot of people have gardens; a lot of people raise different things. - goats. - goats are a biggie. they really like goats. (edo heinrich-sanchez) i believe that amazingly, there is a certain level of self-sufficiency so far as small communities are concerned. older people farm. everybody is growing something. and you won't go hungry. if you live here, you'll find something to eat. people are very opened and very supporting of each other. (sophie fouron) so how big is your garden here? - just around this area like that, it's enough size for my mom to walk out every day.
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emiko- san ! emiko- san owns the okinawan traditional restaurant, and she grows her own vegetables and that's what she uses for her menu. - does she know why people live longer here? (katsuyo de cesari) it's called nigana . it has a little bit of a bitter taste. is it really bitter? - no. well, it's nice. i could taste that it's good for you.
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it's rare that people live by themselves here. you don't leave the elders by themselves. they're always surrounded by their kids. - yeah, if they don't live in the house, they pretty much live close by. - right. - like i'm five minutes away from my mom. (sophie fouron) this one is this one. (katsuyo de cesari) can you put this one over there, she asked? - o.k. this one like that? - yeah. this is done. would you like to taste that? - sure! o.k. (emiko kinjo) oishi ? (sophie fouron) mmmm! (katsuyo de cesari) senior citizens really like these vegetables. that's what they've grown up with. (sophie fouron) do you think that it's slowly changing, because of the influences? you know, a&ws and mcdonalds, and kids now are eating different foods.
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(katsuyo de cesari) they can eat, and they don't have to spend the time to actually... - fast food. (sophie fouron) do you get lost in this market? (daniel lopez) not anymore. - not anymore. - before i used to, but not anymore. now we are going to turn just here because i want to show you a small place. it's called seikatsu no gara . it means "the pattern of life". the bar is run by one of my friends and here in this place, we did an art project. it's been a long time. nine years, almost nine years. i liked taking pictures of his place. it's called "beat" because every time, it is different customers from the place. - nice. - it's very old. and this is the place. it's quite busy,
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as you can see. - and it's a bar-restaurant. - yes. so you can eat, you can drink, and upstairs there is also a smaller place to eat. it's very nice. (sophie fouron) it's very nice. i mean, it seems like everybody knows everybody. - yes. (daniel lopez) it's called the market of sakaemachi. it's a special market because around ten years ago, it was almost dead. they wanted to rebuild, to destroy it and to make a shopping mall. and then young people came in and started to open restaurants, and there were musicians. they started to play music and people came back again, and now it's really popular. arigato gozaimasu. (sophie fouron) you're a filmmaker and you actually made a documentary about okinawan culture. - yes. - why did you choose that subject specifically? (daniel lopez)
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basically to understand why i'm here. and what's made the okinawan identity. of course, the situation, you know about the situation: the american bases, it's the poorest prefecture in japan; the story has been very tough with okinawa. there was a war, before it was an independent kingdom. in 150 years, okinawa had three different governments. and people still... they kept their culture, which is very strange for me. how can they continue to keep their identity so strongly? - to be that resilient. - yes. it was about looking to understand this kind of resilience. so looking for the answer. the ancestor worship is a keyword for okinawa. (sophie fouron) the importance of the ancestors, the worship, the celebration of the ancestors. - yeah, especially because they
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have this altar. in the altar, you have the names of all your ancestors written. so when you are a kid and you grow up in front of an altar with all the names of the ancestors, you know you are from okinawa. my parents are spanish. i grew up in switzerland. now, i live in japan. when you ask me: "where are you from?", i will answer: "i'm swiss." because i feel swiss. if in europe, it was like okinawa with the ancestors worship, probably in spain, there would be an altar with my ancestors' names. the language is disappearing, the okinawan language. the young generation doesn't speak it because they don't teach it at school. (sophie fouron) is there a revival? (daniel lopez) they try. - they try? - they try, but still, it's not enough. - it's not enough. - yeah. (sophie fouron) so the japanese that they speak here, it's a mix of okinawan and mainland japanese? (daniel lopez) yes. they use some words in
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okinawan, like " hai sai ", like say "hello", kind of like this. (sophie fouron) you know a few words of okinawan. you use it in your... - yeah, a few words. - o.k. - sometimes like say "hello", "thank you", that kind of thing, but yeah. - how do you say "hello", so i know? - so, it's quite special because for the men, you say hai sai . for the women, you say hai tai . - o.k. so when you address a woman, you say hai tai , or when you're a woman... - no, as a woman, you say hai tai . - ah, i see. hai tai . - and i say hai sai . - hai tai. o.k, i'll remember that. - konichiwa ! - so you ordered a bit of meat. there's a little more? - yes. - what? she just put that for you? - yes, they always do that. so it's funny because sometimes you just go back home, and you look, and say: "oh, i didn't buy that."and they just put it. so it can be like a piece of meat, it can be like garlic sometimes. and the funny thing is when my wife was pregnant, she sometimes gave me liver. - liver! - yes, because it's full of... - of iron. - iron, yeah.
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- and she just gives it to you out of kindness. - yeah, yeah. people are like this. it's very like okinawa. it's an island full of kindness in a way. - i like that. (daniel lopez) arigato. (sophie fouron) arigato. (daniel lopez) so now we are arriving to a place called eiraku . - eiraku . - eiraku. eiraku means like "never ending happiness". because sachiko has been learning sanshin, the okinawan instrument with him for many years, we often come here, and she plays, and it's kind of our second home. - that's nice. - yes. so here we are! - hi! - hi! nice to meet you! - nice to meet you! ♪♪♪
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(sophie fouron) bravo! bravo! (daisuke miyagi) here we have the waiting room of the fighting bulls. they're getting kind of nervous, so keep quiet. okinawan bullfighting is bull against bull, not against human. this is not about killing
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each other. it's more about boxing, sumo kind of stuff. this is more like entertainment from a long time ago. this is part of the okinawan culture. i don't want to be involved like my father, but yeah, it's still fun just to watch the bullfighting. it's so exciting. bullfighting is difficult in a way. so yeah, he loves to be the watcher of the bullfighting as a fan, but he doesn't want me to be an owner of the bull.
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they're wiping their body and they're sharpening their horns to relax them, make them calm down for a while. this here is just like a braid, it keeps evil away. the salt, this is also to keep the bad spirits away from the bull. all the okinawan spirits are inside of me. it's getting kind of exciting!
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(daisuke miyagi) this is the kind of lightweight, not really heavy as a yokozuna , you know, a grand champion. they weigh like a ton. to motivate the bulls, they scream in their ears: "do it! do it!"just like that. that guy is called a seko . in the okinawan
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language, seko . see, the white one is really pushing it. watch it. when the one bull gave up and just ran away, you saw, right? it's obvious. the battle is over. sometimes, they know. the one bull got stabbed by the other bull's horn. that can happen sometimes. but usually, the other side will start to run away before it starts bleeding. see, this can happen. (edo heinrich-sanchez) in 1972, okinawa went from being
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under the u.s. protection to returning to japan. after it was returned to japan, there were tariffs put on all the goods. so many of those companies went bust, and so it's more expensive to send something through okinawa than it is through yokohama or through the other main ports like kobe. when actually, it's more logical that it would be cheaper if it came through here. we just arrived in zamami after a rocky boat ride. we were actually lucky today, because in some cases, the ferry can't come here because the sea is too rocky. so it is complicated for supplies here, on these little islands. but we're here and we're going to meet tak.
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i made it. you guys are courageous to live here! today you received your frozen food. - frozen everything else. all the daily necessities and the regular things, like bread or that kind of thing. - o.k. - vegetables also. - all the supplies. - right. - and they come once a week? - once a week, on wednesday, for our group. we have so many groups. we have three days of deliveries and we're on the wednesday group. - i see. - and we have about five groups. brian is on the same day. - o.k, so you know the wednesday group. - right. exactly. - you all know each other. - yes. (takako ike) so this is my stuff. instant rice, it is a very okinawan rice. bananas, i order every week. this is coffee
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and then all this frozen food. (sophie fouron) it happens sometimes that the ferries can't make it because of the roughness of the sea. what happens then? (takako ike) well, we have to wait until the boat runs, so it depends on when they are running. so it may be the next day, or two days later, or three or four days later. and in that case, eggs or milk, or bread, we cannot get it, because they have a date. you know, a deadline for usage. so then, they will cut it off and they will withdraw the prices, for whatever we have to pay for. (brian parker) in the case of a typhoon, the boats will be stopped for around a week or more at times. so, even before the typhoon, everybody tries to order and stock up on food, and then it doesn't come. so there's a mad rush to buy what is ever at the small grocery store here. and even then... - yeah, right. we have a small grocery so at that shop, everything will be sold out. - sold out. - sold out. - especially the vegetables, or
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the fresh milk or anything like that. - you have to be very good planners. - right. that's why i have tons of stuff. i once told brian that he can come and pick it up, because we have maybe a month worth of food and groceries and necessities. - you're the small grocery store. - right. exactly. see you then. - bye brian! have a nice day! (sophie fouron) i can carry that. - thank you. - my turn. - thank you. (sophie fouron) we have to put this away. (takako ike) yes. when we moved out here, we bought this big one, but the freezer is this size. since we have to freeze so much stuff, i bought this whole freezer. the meat only comes frozen. - how do you order? is it by phone? (takako ike) no, by p o


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