Special to The Hawai‘i Herald
As a volunteer ranch hand and a horse owner, I was intrigued to read in George Kerr’s book, “Okinawa: The History of an Island People,” that the Ryukyu Kingdom traded trained horses with China from the late 1300s to the early 1600s. Why, I wondered, was a kingdom that was just a tiny archipelago trading horses with one of the world’s oldest civilizations and one of its biggest countries that was part of the largest continent on earth? It also seemed incongruous that the tropical islands of Okinawa would have had a horse culture. So many questions, but the most burning of all: What were the origins of these horses?