Join us this summer in Okinawa, Japan

Dear UCSC Alumni and Friends of the Gail Project,

I’m writing to invite you along on an exciting adventure this August in Okinawa, Japan with me, a cohort of Gail Project undergraduates and fellow travelers, all exploring the history, tradition, and culture of this unique and significant island.


Over ten days, we will visit caves that were once forts in the heart of battle, winding markets with all of the tastes, smells, and colors you can imagine, shrines that will fill you with peace, and artisans who will immerse you into their craft. We will overlook military bases as we think about the American Occupation and the impacts of that relationship. We will eat Okinawan soba (noodles with pork), sample Goya (bitter melon), learn the intricate steps that create the dyed cloth known as Bingata, and dance to traditional Okinawan music.

Remarkably, this is the first trip of its kind at UC Santa Cruz. It’s also unlike any trip offered at other universities, as we are fusing the student and alumni experience. Our Gail Project students, while working on their own undergraduate research, will make special appearances with us, acting as docents and guides at various sites along the way. This experience will allow travelers to meet and learn along with the students, and will offer insight into UC Santa Cruz’s commitment to hands-on research opportunities for undergraduates.

Please join us, and immerse yourself in the intertwined history of Ryukyuan, Japanese, and American peoples. Bring a travel partner, a good sunhat, a big appetite, and a thirst for history and culture. It would mean a lot to me to have you with us.

Alan Christy. Photo courtesy Tosh Tanaka

Click here to view the brochure for additional information. If you wish to join the trip or have questions, please contact Sarah Caldwell at (831) 459-1536 or at

Best wishes,
Dr. Alan Christy
Cowell College Provost and Professor of History, UC Santa Cruz
Gail Project Director

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