Okinawa: A Good Place to Grow Old
October 1, 2019
by Jim Goldberg
Japan is home to the most centenarians per capita and there are approximately 450 people over the age of 100 on the island of Okinawa.
The Okinawan tradition of forming a moai, or a gathering of people, provides secure social networks. These safety nets lend financial and emotional support in times of need and give all of their members the stress- shedding security of knowing that there is always someone there for them. The concept of “Ikigai” is also omnipresent; older Okinawans can readily articulate the reason they get up in the morning. Their purpose-imbued lives gives them clear roles of responsibility and feelings of being needed well into their 100s.
Jim Goldberg traveled to Okinawa to photograph the healthy, happy, and active elders of the island.
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