I'm an MA student in Japanese Studies, working on aspects of 16th-17th century Japanese foreign relations for my dissertation, and I have grown quite interested in Okinawa over the course of the year. It's a fascinating country, with a rich and interesting history - a tiny island kingdom with its own independent culture, polity, language, etc, serving two masters, China and Satsuma, and yet maintaining its own distinct identity even today. The more I study Japan, the more I find myself drawn away from Edo and Kyoto and into the interesting histories of the more distant or isolated regions, particularly those as unique as Okinawa.
I'm spending next year in Yokohama, and very much hoping that I can find time to visit Okinawa if it's not too hideously expensive (I'm sure it is).
One obstacle I've come across countless times in my research, however, is that most of my sources (I'm working only in English, as my Japanese is insufficient, and my Chinese is nil) only refer to things by the Japanese pronunciation. Is anyone here familiar with Ryukyuan/Okinawan language, and do you know (for a start), how to say "Kingdom of Ryukyu" (琉球王国) in Okinawan/Ryukyuan?