Okinawa is a mirror that reflects clearly modern Japan and the Modern Ages. When we try to understand the now and past of Okinawa, it shows some critical problems that every modern society has.
Okinawa was a kingdom called Ryukyu that had a relationship with China rather than Japan. China had appointed a king of Ryukyu. And Ryukyu had paid tribute-mainly sulfur and horses-to the emperor of China. The Kingdom of Ryukyu was changed into Okinawa prefecture by Haihan-chiken in the Meiji era, one of the policies of the early Meiji government, using prefectures and abolishing feudal-age domains, that was also a process of integrating it into modern Japan. Ryukyu had its own culture and history so that some people in Okinawa think even today they are not Japanese but the people of Ryukyu.