sabato 11 agosto 2018


A lot of rain didn’t stop the annual protest against the destruction of Henoko Bay, today, at Onoyama Koen, Naha. Nor did the ridiculous circus of the ultra-nationalists, a evergreen play that never misses this kind of situation. Many people dressed in blue – the color of the ocean, in danger to build a larger military base for the American Marines of Camp Schwab – participated in the park near my home. As usual my fresh haircut must have made many people think that I was a not-so-well-disguised Marines’ spy… So much that a young journalist of the Ryūkyū Shimpō, one of the two main newspapers of Okinawa, interviewed me. Tomorrow I guess I’ll be on the paper. I hope they’ll publish the photo with Sato-doll, the alter ego of my wife that today couldn’t come to the event and so gave me her… fabric-clone to bring along.

The most touching moment? Just before the rally started, when some people on the stage gave their sincere ARIGATOU to Takeshi Onaga, the popular governor of Okinawa that passed away three days ago after over four years in charge. The thankful sign has been followed by a recorded message of Onaga. Hearing his voice once more, but this time without him in person, was quite moving. And so the minute of silence to commemorate him.

As usual, some people wore dugong-shaped hats, to symbolize the rape of Mother Nature through one of the most endangered animals of the archipelago. Then everybody showed their NO signs to photographers and TV video-cameras, to stress once more their clear opposition to the further militarization of Okinawa (Miyako-jima will be the next victim, with a huge project for a Japanese military base wanted by the prime minister Abe). Once more, nature bye-bye for the happine$$ of the weapons lobbies.

I just finished to tell my Italian friend Gino at the phone that this year I hadn’t seen the kinky ultra-nationalists, a group of loud and cheesy guys paid by Tokyo that have their gang-base in Itoman. Few minutes later they arrived, with six vans and a bunch of flags of the kamikaze period. War music, terrible (plumber/electrician) fashion, tattooed fingers, under-elementary school education and several haircuts to be reviewed by some consultant. I don’t know why, but every time I see them I immediately remember the epic scene of the ‘Nazi of Illinois’ in the glorious movie ‘The Blues Brothers’. As usual they made their karaoke-style show, yelling first-graders-level offences to the pacifists, with a wonderful yakuza intonation that my friend Gino can imitate as a master. Their yells, actually, sounded more like guttural sounds as of somebody puking… I love this kind of anthropological moments and my Nikons always ask me to bring them to such juicy shows.

As many other times before, some pacifist got fished by the funky-guys provocations and started an almost-fight. Always almost, because the game here is every time the same: the police blocks the plumbers, pushes them back into their kinky vans, then they can start the circus again. In the end nobody gets hurt and the right of expression for everybody has been respected (no matters how miserable and ugly that expression may be). Often, watching this kind of situation, I think of my country, where stones and bottles would fly like seagulls on the face of everybody for half square kilometer all around… Here nobody visits hospitals or police stations afterwards.
Japan, undoubtedly a interesting country.

venerdì 3 agosto 2018


THANKS to all the nice people that in the last two weeks visited 'Europa Vintage Okinawa's fair at Cargoes Mall, along Kokusai-dori, in Naha! It has been a new experience for me - I didn't become rich but I enjoyed a lot of air conditioned, met old and new friends and, last but not least, spread a little bit of European culture in this remote corner of the planet. Sometimes I felt like a... geography teacher, explaining where orecchiette and limoncello come from. I don't work for the Italian tourism board, but I guess during the past days it should have paid me...

Special THANKS/GRAZIE/ARIGATOu to the helpful staff of Cargoes Mall and to my friend Michio-san of Lapis shop who supported the event; to my dear friend Gino Goya for helping with his Goya-mobile, as well as to the partners of this fair: Atelier Tibitoko (kawaii handicrafts), guest-house La Passione (with the fantastic olive oil from Olivandro/Sicily) and Prosciutto & Melone Curtis Naonis (Italian food imported based in Itoman)!!!

lunedì 28 maggio 2018


Fun (and rain), as always, yesterday at the best Italian restaurant of Okinawa, Mamma Lella, for the first Summer Market of the history of Mamma Lella (did I say already Mamma Lella?). Friends ate tons of delicious piadina and bought the imported calories of Mirco Pilat (the owner of the best tents and tables of Okinawa, GRAZIE MIRCONE!!!), the imported vintage goods of 'Europa Vintage Okinawa' (did I say already vintage?) and the not imported, handmade cute handicrafts (did I say already hand?) of Satoko Ishizaki/Atelier Tibitoko/Sato9.

A super GRAZIE MILLE to Eugenio and Eriko Bettiol - owners of MAMMA LELLA (4) - and to their fantastic staff, Ghenta Kinjo and Mai-san! Another super one to Gino Goya, now owner of a brand new shining Ferrari: as usual without You I wouldn't go anywhere (thank Gossh and mamma Margherita and papà Carlo for sending Him to Oki)! An ありがとうございました to Myu-san for lending me her Myu-mobile for the billionth time (I returned it only 4 hours late)! Last but not least, many THANKS to the nice friends and customers and friend customers that yesterday came to Onna and bought our products or just said ciao!

Next adventure: one week before Christmas, for the 2nd round of the Christmas Market, already a mythological event in the history of the mythological events of Mamma Lella (5)!

P.S.: Eugenio+Eriko+Ghenta have a great trip to Italy, and be careful, I've heard there are many Italians down there!