As I was posting Koza (1974) pictures to the Ryukyu-no (Okinawan) Rock ??????℠ website, I began thinking about how some things go full circle. In those days on Okinawa, we would get out of Club Fire at about 5 in the morning. As we walked down the street, we would have to be careful not to step the wrong way. If you did misstep, your foot and half of your leg would end-up in a benjo ditch (sewer). We don’t have to worry about benjo ditches very much anymore. Now when we walk home, it’s regurgitated food, broken bottles, yakitori (B-B-Q chicken) sauce, and passed-out beggars that compose the confidence course. Of course, in 1974 there were a few GIs that always blew off a little too much steam. After all, it was during the Vietnam era. In the past few years Gate 2 Street has, once again, developed into one of the main areas where GIs come to let off a little steam. This year is the first time since the ’70s that I have seen groups of Japanese police patroling the street on foot. One big difference is now there are many locals, young and old, mixed-in with the GIs and numerous American civilians that call Okinawa home, for one reason or another. Maybe twenty years of having the Gate 2/B.C. Street area to theirselves, has made the locals a little less willing to give-up the area. Perhaps, twenty years of basically peaceful communication has created a new generation of locals that are more open-minded to the differences in cultures. Or perhaps, they all just want to have fun!!!
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