Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Kadena Cicadas and Other Tales of Import

by Pa Rock
Cultural Explorer

One of the first things I noticed when I arrived on Okinawa was all of the noise, and a good part of that noise, at lease on Kadena Air Base, was provided by nature.  The cicadas (I always called them locusts, and my father used to refer to them as "jar flies") were everywhere on base.  Their noise died off after I had been here a couple of weeks, but I have noticed in the last day or two that they are back.

I read once that Japan intentionally imported a plane load of lightening bugs from the United States.  I don't guess they made it this far south, because I have not observed any on Okinawa.  That leads me to wonder if cicadas are native to the Orient, or are they, too, imports.  Kadena has hundreds of pine trees which were supposedly brought in by some American general in an attempt to make the base feel more like home - his American home.  And, of course, many cherry trees in America were imported from Japan.  Man, whether of the western or eastern persuasion. seems to love messing with his environment.

If we could just learn to import and export peace and love - instead of promoting war and international arms sales - what a wonderful world this would be!

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