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Tēgē is an Okinawan word used to describe the character of Okinawan people. The expression can be loosely translated as being rough and easygoing, living without thinking too seriously. 

When the Okinawans were trying to catch up with mainland Japan and looked up to its capital, Tokyo, the tēgē attitude and “Okinawa time” (describing a tendency to be late) were viewed as negative characteristics. However, in this current era of diversity, tēgē is considered a positive aspect of Okinawans’ relaxed way of life. It’s true that whenever I travel to Okinawa from Tokyo, I feel the kindness of Okinawans and that their peaceful lives come from their ability to say, “It’s ok, no worries” regardless of the circumstances. Japanese people may worry about being tēgē, as it could be seen as being irresponsible and negligent, but Okinawans — genuine tēgē practitioners — do not care about such things. Don’t force the other into a corner, don’t exhaust the other, and don’t push yourself too hard. This tēgē attitude creates a stress-free society, which may contribute to Okinawans’ famed longevity.