About Okinawa

Where is Okinawa?

The Okinawa Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean in the southernmost part of Japan, over 3,000 kilometers away from mainland Japan, and untouched by the earthquake and tsunami of 2011.

The Okinawa islands are widely known by divers to be surrounded by some of the clearest and pure bodies of water in the world. The abundance of exquisite coral reefs generates high concentrations of oxygen resulting in a mineral rich environment, resulting in the world’s best sea salt.

Consisting of 161 islands, Okinawa was originally called the Kingdom of Ryukyu for 400 years before it was taken over and renamed by the modern Japanese Meiji government.

The people of Okinawa enjoy the greatest longevity in the world with six times the number of centenarians per hundred thousand than the United States. Their reputation for having the world’s greatest disability-free life has long been attributed to exercise, lifestyle and most importantly the local diet.

According to the book “The Okinawa Program”1 and diet of the Okinawan people:

1. The occurrence of heart disease in Okinawa is also one fifth of that in the US.

2. Prostate and ovarian cancer is less than one quarter of what it is in the U.S.

3. Okinawans and other Japanese that are born and raised in other countries and abandon the traditional diets of Japan and Okinawa tend to take on the same arterial disease risk as those in their adopted countries.

4. In the U.S., coronary heart disease could reduce life expectancy by up to 17 years.

5. Okinawans that consume a traditional Okinawan diet may take in 40 percent fewer calories than the average American diet.

6. The risk of North American women getting breast cancer during a lifetime is approximately one in ten, whereas 6 out of 100,000 Okinawan women will die from breast cancer.

7. If Americans lived more like Okinawans, it is likely that 80 percent of the nation’s coronary care units, one-third of the cancer wards, and countless nursing homes would be shut down or nonexistent.

In the United States, millions of people are eager to provide themselves and their family’s healthy food choices. Unfortunately, even with the best of intentions, the food intake and diet for most Americans is not nearly as healthy as it should be. Below is a comparison of the people in the U.S. relative to the people in Okinawa. In some Okinawan villages, the average life expectancy has been shown to be as high as 89.2 years old.

1Interesting Facts and Data: All the below quotation from “The Okinawa Program” written by Bradley J Wilcox M.D., Craig Wilcox Ph. D., and Makoto Suzuki M.D., 2001.