As I was there as the official photographer for the American Chamber of Commerce I was able to get in past the police barricades right into the thick of the action. Even then though it was almost impossible to capture the action at eye level so I used a long monopod with my new Canon 5DmkIII and Canon 8-15mm fisheye lens attached on the end. I then ran a cable release from the camera held up high down to my hands so I was able to trigger the camera a couple of meters above the crowds to capture a different perspective.
Here are a few of my images from the day.
First off the Ryukyu Karate masters. They did a a bunch of solo demonstrations showing their style as other Karate masters threw extremely loud fire crackers into the large circle where the crowd was gathered around. The strong wind blew several of the crackers towards me and a few went off around my legs burning some hair off my leg lol. My ears were ringing for the rest of the festival from these wicked noisy Chinese crackers.
If you get a chance while in Okinawa you should make the effort to get to Naha city for this amazing festival. It's quite a sight to behold indeed. Thanks for dropping by!