素民喜琢磨 (Takuma Sminkey) Welcome to my home page! I am an American-Japanese who lives and teaches in Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost prefecture. I grew up in Maryland in the USA, but I have been living in Japan since 1990. I lived in Miyazaki for six years and in Kagoshima for seven. I moved to Okinawa in 2004. I currently teach speech, debate, translation, and communication at Okinawa International University. I acquired Japanese citizenship in 2010.
In 2005, I achieved my long-term dream of having one of my translations published. The book is called,A Rabbit's Eyes, which is a translation of Haitani Kenjiro's Usagi no Me. I especially recommend this book to teachers or people who are considering becoming teachers.
Ichigensan -- The Newcomer, my translation of David Zoppetti’s Ichigensan, was published March 2011. The novel is a touching story about a Swiss exchange student attending a Japanese university and his relationship with a blind Japanese woman.
One of my current dreams is to translate an Okinawan novel. “Round-trip over the Ocean,” my translation of Sakiyama Tami’s “Suijou Oukan” appeared in Manoa’s 2011 Summer Edition, entitled, Living Spirit: Literature and Resurgence in Okinawa. I am now working on a translation of Medoruma Shun’s Me no Oku no Mori, which is one of my favorite Okinawan novels. With the help of my students and colleagues, I am now working on a website to introduce various Okinawan writers, including Sakiyama Tami, Medoruma Shun, Matayoshi Eiki, Oshiro Tatsuhiro, and others.
Another one of my dreams is to run every race offered in Okinawa. I’ve run most of the marathons and other races, but I’ve been putting off the triathlons--mainly because I am not a very good swimmer. Check out my running page for lots of information about running in Okinawa.