Like any other morning since I began my stay at Ryudai guest house (Intl Exchange Research facility), I went down to the lounge for breakfast. Pouring some coffee, I noticed a man who has been coming down for his breakfast. I decided to say hello and we started a conversation. He is a Turkish who is married to a Japanese woman (not Okinawan), has been living and teaching in Japan for over 30 years.  He is an engineering professor who has been teaching in, I think, Shizuoka. 

The conversation became a bit awkward when I made a clear distinction between Okinawan and Japanese. He began to give me a story or history about how many moons ago, Okinawans came from Japan via Ainu roots. As I struggled to listen to his heavy Turkish accent and the ambiguity of what he was trying to really say, I asked, what does that have to do with the current relationship between Japan and Okinawa via U.S. military presence (some would say occupation) in Okinawa - 75% of the bases and 67 and counting years of the military issues on Okinawa island?  He kept talking about the ancient history and that what happened and what's going on today have to do with the climate and the survival. First I thought he meant, the survival of the fittest theory, which he would argue makes the situation understandable in Okinawa. So I talked about the current state of affair linking to the human rights issues. Well, he didn't budge from the ancient story about how we are part of Japanese race. So I threw in Africa as a way to begin the race talk, but really to say that I didn't care where we come from and how we are part of what race IF we don't take into consideration of contemporary moment.  He didn't say.  No, he did say, "it's a difficult problem" (about the Osprey and the military situation).  I said it depends on the position that people hold the expression like that can have a different and life-changing impact and outcome for people's well-being and being in the world. With this perspective, I too have privilege and option to distance myself from the situation so that I don't have to 'deal' with it by simply saying, 'it's a difficult' situation and walk away or talk away. I said, 'you too have that option' perhaps different from mine, but indeed, you have privilege.  (Of course what I'm writing is a cleaner or contextualized version of the actual conversation but gist is correct.)

He also inferred that not all Okinawans hold the same view as mine. Yes I know there are puppets and colonized men/women in every nation/land.  Malcome X taught me that thank you.  (I didn't say all that but I am saying it now ^.^). 
He also brought in the linguistic roots that Japan, Korea, Turk, and places other than China that are common, to make a point that China is dangerous and not to be trusted. This he was very clear. He said China is an imperialist country. I said, Japan is THE imperialist country. So here is the impasse.  Even though I tried to make it clear that it's not the people of Japan or that Okinawans are not part of Japan that I am arguing here, it is the way in which people's lives are treated and governed by the system/government or otherwise. I didn't even go into the racism factor or the other -ism but it was certainly in the thickness of the air which was getting a bit stuffy. But when he continued to generalize China as the 'enemy,' I refrain from participating in the conversation by simply replying with no contextualization of my answers. 
When a attendee (Okinawan woman) came to take the trays, I had asked him, "what does linguistic commonality and difference have to do with the current situation? How do you bring the historical reference to the contemporary issue, like the Osprey?" As the attendee came to my table, he rose from table saying that he has to meet with his friends and have to leave. We shook hands and parted our ways. 

I attempted to stay and finish my coffee but was too anxious to write this down so I got up and went to my room and here I am writing this down on my blog page.  It's 9:44am.

Upcoming event:
Today will be interesting since I will be attending a meeting about a base issue. The local Okinawan residents actually want the U.S. base to remain in their city of Nago.  They are making a strong statement/stance and bashing and accusing the media, leftist, activists, and anti-base movements that they are lying about the idea that Okinawans do not want bases. These residents welcome the base in Nago and want the people to know their position. It is going to be a rough one but I plan to listen and only listen to the voices of the Nago residents. -_-

Will advise later~