- The Japanese Society of Health and Human Ecology
- Japanese Journal of Health and Human Ecology (ISSN:03689395)
- vol.61, no.4, pp.219-236, 1995-07-31 (Released:2010-06-28)
Okinawa prefecture, consisting of the Ryukyu Islands in the southern part of Japan archiperago, is located in the subtropics. From ancient time, Okinawa had developed trading networks with China, Korea and many Southeast Asian countries and had received cultural influence from them. As the results, it is said that the foods consumed by, and food habits of, Okinawans, have been more similar to those in such countries than in Japan. The life span of Japanese has recently become longest in the world, and it has been longer in Okinawa than in any other prefectures. In this respect, special attention has been drawn to the historical aspects of Okinawan food habits. In the literature so far, however, typical foods, recipes and food habits in specific historical periods were documented but their compiled description throughout the history was lacking. This paper aims at a comprehensive description of the various events from the ancient time to the present to demonstrate their interrelation in a chronicle. Major a pects treated are introduction of foods, food production systems, food-processing, trades, marketing activities, food consumptions, religious roles of food services, and famines caused by natural and man-made disasters in relation to food habits.