National Geographic : 1997 Jun
ON ASSIGNMENT * OKINAWA Warm Welcome on Miyako Island "They may be investment club members, but they know how to have fun," says Karen Kasmauski (above, at right) of an Okinawan moai gathering. "As each guest arrives, everyone downs a cold shot of awamori, a local liquor. I'd take a sip, then hand my cup to the guy behind me. Some how he was still standing when I left." Though she'd been to Japan many times before-she was born on a U.S. naval base there this was only Karen's second visit to Okinawa. The day didn't begin well: She spent the morning on a storm-tossed ferry, where driving rain and hundreds of seasick tourists made picture taking almost impossible. "I was exhausted," admits Karen. "That evening I was welcomed by these wonderful people," she says of the Maedomaris, at left. Her hosts gave her a gift when she left that night. "More awamori," Karen laughs. "I shared it with everyone I photographed after that!" EVOLUTION OF CATS Sharing Her Felines "I ought to be able to write off their cat food," says illustrations editor Kathy Moran of pets Emerson, on her shoulder, and his brother Whitman, who inspired her to propose the special approach to cats in this issue. Kathy, who studied journalism in college, came to the Society 16 years ago as a staff assistant. Now animal stories are among her favorite assignments. She was fascinated to see behaviors in wild cats that she had read about for this article re-created by "the boys" at home. Domestication is in the eye of the beholder. "Whit and Emmy aren't all that far from lions," she insists. Nor are they ever far from her heart. DAVID GRIFFIN, NGS NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC(ISSN0027-9358) IS PUBLISHEDMONTHLYBYTHENATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY,1145 17THST.N.W.,WASHINGTON,D.C.20036-4688. $25.00 A YEAR,$5.00 A COPY. PERIODICALSPOSTAGEPAIDAT WASHINGTON, D.C ., ANDELSEWHERE.POSTMASTER:SENDADDRESSCHANGESTO NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC,P.O.BOX 63002, TAMPA,FLORIDA33663-3002.