‘U.S. Militarization of Okinawa Not Pono’

Pete Shimazaki Doktor

Op-ed by Pete Shimazaki Doktor
Star-Advertiser, 7 Jan. 2018

I returned recently from a delegation of U.S. military veterans to Okinawa, to witness the devastation from the ongoing U.S. military occupation since 1945 — with construction of yet another military monstrosity in rural Henoko, despite the resistance by Okinawans for over 20 years via elections, lawsuits and non-violent civil disobedience.

Veterans for Peace members joined in the latter only to be dragged away with other local Okinawan elders by riot police from Japan.

PIXABAY – “What amazed me aside from the persistence of Okinawans demanding human rights, democracy and mutual respect for decades, are the indifferent justifications by Japan and the U.S. — from political representatives to entire communities,” writes Pete Shimazaki Doktor, co-founder of HOA (Hawaii Okinawa Alliance).

As a second-generation Okinawan-American who was made and has lived in Okinawa, the entrenched military including the Japanese Self-Defense forces expanding across neighbor islands isn’t new, as that’s been occurring since Japan overthrew the sovereign nation of Ryukyu, and continues to discriminate against Okinawans by concentrating two-thirds of U.S. forces in Japan into tiny Okinawa that comprises only 0.6 percent of Japan.

What amazed me aside from the persistence of Okinawans demanding human rights, democracy and mutual respect for decades, are the indifferent justifications by Japan and the U.S. — from political representatives to entire communities.

During the delegation, U.S. military helicopters in separate incidents dropped materials onto a nursery school and an elementary school, injuring one student. My heart broke hearing the students’ fear, reminding me of the daily threat my family endures there. However, my biggest heartbreak comes from the continuity of indigenous minorities routinely sacrificed for the comfort of empires like the U.S., Japan, China, Russia, etc. Native Hawaiians have fared similarly with much military concentrated on crown lands intended for Hawaiians, let alone their nation.

Imagine a bay like Hanauma or Waimea being filled with hundreds of tons of concrete, threatening the ecosystem for hundreds of endemic and endangered species — let alone the local economy and culture, due to Washington mandates to build yet another military base on islands already hosting disproportionate concentrations of military — that was met by widespread resistance from the governor all the way down to the grassroots, as is happening in Okinawa.

Would Hawaii, or elsewhere, tolerate this upper-handedness? Or is it the case that people only care about their “own”: e.g., would the people of Hawaii better remember the Ehime Maru ship tragedy — in which a U.S. Navy sub joyriding to impress donors tore through the fishing ship and took the lives of Japanese students and staff — had it involved a local school rather than Japanese one?

Personally, this isn’t about Okinawa, as it is about, Is this pono (right)? Identity has an important place — but not without complementary principled action. Consider: Hawaii Gov. David Ige may have an identity as an Okinawan-American, yet Ige’s office also killed 2016 resolutions in support of Okinawan’s struggle for self-determination in the state Senate and Honolulu City Council, despite supporting such resolutions as a representative. Should Ige have deferred to lobbying by Defense and Japanese government officials, or should he had been consistent with the values of constituents, and of Okinawa, such as “nuchi du takara,” that all life are treasures to be considered?

The “clear zones” of Futenma Marine Air Station extend into Okinawan neighborhoods, schools, cultural sites, etc., endangering local lives and resources, not to mention that the land was seized by force. This is not security; this is special interest for a distant few. Even the framers of the U.S. Constitution included the 3rd Amendment condemning the hosting of foreign military — yet it has been a part of U.S foreign policy for over a century, from Hawaii to Iraq.

We cannot change the past — but we do have kuleana for what continues in the present, so that such injustices do not perpetuate toleration into the future. Contact your representatives if you feel foreign bases aren’t right, as governments are deaf to colonies like Okinawa.

Pete Shimazaki Doktor, a former Army medic and history teacher, is a co-founder of HOA (Hawaii Okinawa Alliance), and Veterans for Peace chapters in Hawaii and Okinawa.

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‘Who Are the Okinawans?’

The following are excerpts from Nasrine Bendjilali et al., “Who Are the Okinawans? Ancestry, Genome Diversity, and Implications for the Genetic Study of Human Longevity From a Geographically Isolated Population,” The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, Volume 69, Issue 12, 1 December 2014, Pages 1474–1484.

 The earliest human remains in Japan (from the Yamashita site in Okinawa) date to about 30,000 years ago and are thought to be ancestors of the Jomon people, whose pottery appeared throughout the Japanese archipelago as far north as Siberia by about 13,000 years ago. New migrants, called the Yayoi people, arrived in Japan from the Korean peninsula about 2,000 years ago causing admixture of the two populations (19,23) but appearing not to have had a major genetic influence in outlying regions such as Okinawa or Hokkaido (21,22).

 However, performing PCA using only the Okinawan and the Asian HapMap samples suggested that the Okinawan population is a homogeneous group and was distinct from the Japanese and the Chinese.

 We found that the Okinawans clustered consistently with East Asians, with individual ancestry estimates (ie, the estimated membership coefficients for each individual in each of the seven predefined world regions) ranging from 0.928 to 0.997. No other world population present in the reference dataset had a significant contribution to the Okinawan participants.

 On average, the Okinawans were found to share 80.8% (±11.2 SD) admixture with Japanese and 19.2% (±11.2 SD) admixture with Chinese suggesting that the Okinawans and the Japanese share substantial common ancestry.

 On average, the Okinawans were found to share 80.8% (±11.2 SD) admixture with Japanese and 19.2% (±11.2 SD) admixture with Chinese. Individual admixture estimates were quite variable and ranged from 5.84% to 57.82% Chinese admixture (Figure 4B).

 Okinawans are an isolate with limited gene flow from outside populations, and are likely descended from an original, older ancestral population called the Jomon who already possessed a high degree of differentiation from Paleolithic times.

 One limitation [of this study] is the small sample size. We studied 24 Okinawan centenarians and 26 middle-aged Okinawans.

 In conclusion, we have demonstrated that the Okinawans are relatively homogeneous at the genetic level, Okinawan centenarians tend to cluster into an even more homogeneous group suggesting some shared genetic mechanisms for longevity, and that Okinawan centenarian siblings show a high relative risk of longevity.

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‘Rikka, Uchinaa-nkai! Okinawan Language Textbook for Beginners’ (2017)

Click image or click here to view the book in PDF.

My sister, Linda, and her husband, Phil, went to the Okinawan Festival on Sunday, 9/2/17. She emailed family members a couple days ago: “At the Okinawan Festival this year, met this person in the Cultural tent that was willing to scan and send the entire Okinawan language book to anyone who asked. Hope you all find it beneficial.”

She received an email response from Janice Kimie Toma Shiira with a PDF attachment, Rikka, Uchinaa-nkai! Okinawan Language Textbook for Beginners (2017), and this message:

Subject: Fwd: “Rikka, Uchina nkai” Textbook Second Edition Okinawan Language

Hai tai gusuyo

Nifee Debiru for visiting the Shimakutuba (Island Language) booth at the Okinawan Festival. Attached is the PDF file of the Okinawan Language Textbook.

This coming Monday at 7:00 p.m. 9/11 Uchinaaguchi classes will be held at Jikoen Hongwanji 1731 North School Street

Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions.

Janice Kimie Toma Shiira

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Okinawan Festival 2017: Opening Ceremony

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Okinawan Festival 2017: Opening Procession

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Okinawan Festival 2017 Program

Saturday-September 2, 2017 (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)*


  • Jane Kaneshiro & Bonnie Miyashiro, Co-chairs
  • Jane Kaneshiro Sozan Kai
  • Bonnie Miyashiro Soho Kai
  • Toma Toyoko Sokyoku Kai
  • Yamashiro Yoneko Sokyoku Kenkyu Kai
  • Yasuko Arakawa Aki no Kai
  • Sunny Tominaga Sokyoku Sanyuukai
  • Chieko Miyasato Sokyoku Kai


  • Seiichi Yagi, Chapter President


  • Terry Higa, Instructor

10:20am OPENING PROCESSION (HUOA Banners, Shishimai, Chondara)

  • Jane Tateyama, President



  • Lynne Yoshiko Nakasone, Grand Master and Director


  • Akemi Martin, Regional Director


  • Cheryl Yoshie Nakasone, Artistic Director


  • Mitsuko Toguchi Nakasone, Kaishu




  • Masakazu Teruya, Kancho

4:00pm Andagi Eating Contest


  • Grant “Sandaa” Murata, Chapter President



5:30pm Opening & Welcome

5:45pm Young Okinawans of Hawaii

6:45pm Hawaii Shin Kobukai

7:20pm Aiea Taiheiji Yagura Gumi

7:55pm Iwakuni Odori Aiko Kai

8:30pm Hawaii Eisa Shinyuu Kai


Last shuttle to KCC leaves at 10:30 p.m.

Sunday-September 3, 2017 (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)


  • Toshiko Neumann, Leader


  • Mitchell Shimamura Sensei


  • Jon Itomura, President & Eric Nitta, Vice-President


  • Troy Sakihara, Leader


  • Derek Asato, Instructor


  • Devin Kawamura, President


  • Frances Nakachi, Shihan, Master Instructor, Director


  • Misako Yagi, Chapter President


  • Allison Yanagi, Saikosho


  • Sarina Udd, Chapter President & Shihan


  • Ryosei Oshiro, Director

2:40pm Andagi Eating Contest


3:55pm TBA


  • Derek Ichiro Shiroma Sensei


Last shuttle to KCC leaves at 6 p.m.



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Kutuu (Koto): A Story Told in English, Uchinaaguchi, & Nihongo

Rodney Header

I wrote this for the Uchinaaguchi “cause.” Note that there is a Japanese translation at the bottom. -Rodney Inefuku


By Rodney Inefuku
Uchinaaguchi translation by Toma Shisei of Yomitan, Okinawa

It was the first day of spring in Chicago.
Uree Chicago n jinu hajimityinu harunu kutuyaibitan.

I opened my window and felt the sunshine on my face.
Wannnee madu akiyaai chirankai wakanachinu tiida kanjitoibiitan.

I smiled.

The building next to my building had an open window.
Tunainu biru nu maduya achoiibitan.

The open window had white curtains.
Achouru madunkaiya siruu kaatenn ga aibiitan.

I heard a familiar sound coming from the window.
Unu madukara nachikasanu utaga chikarityi chaabitan.

It was an Okinawan kutuu playing a familiar song.
Ure Uchinaa-gutuu si ensou sunu nachikasaru uta yaibiitan.

“Tinsagu Nu Hana”
“Chinsagu nu hana.”

I thought about home, Hawaii, my family.
Wannee Hawaii nkaiuru yaaninju ubijasaibiitan.

I became homesick.
Hoomu sikku n kai kakayai biitan.

I have been away too long.
Jikou deeji nagee hanarijuusai biitan.

I tried to look inside the window.
Madu nu naaka injundyi sabitan.

Then a gentle breeze blew the curtain open.
Urikara kajiguaa nu fuchaani kaatenn akiyabitan.

I could see the back of a young woman.
Wakainagu nu nagariga miiyabitan.

She wore a beautiful yellow Bingata kimono.
Unu inaguya jikou churasanu chiirunu bingata nu chin chichooibiitan.

Her black hair was pinned up in the Okinawan kanpuu.
Uriga kurukarajiya Uchinaa-kanpuu nu gutushi jiifaa si tumirattooi biitan.

I couldn’t see her face.
Uriga chiraya nraran tann.

The breeze passed and the white curtains closed.
Kajiguaa ga sugityi unu ka-tenn simiyai biitann.

I went down to get my mail.
Yuubinn tuiga hichan kai urityi ichabiitan.

I received a letter from sister.
Siija neenan kara tyigami ukitui biitan.

“Come home. Father is very ill.”
“Heeku keetyi kuwa, ottoya jikou wassiku natousiga.”

I went to the market and bought a white flower in a pot.
Wannee maaketto nkai njaai potton kai icchooru sirusanu hana koutyi chaabitan.

I stopped at the door of the room with the white curtains.
Siru kaatenn numee nu yaa nu mee nji tomaibiitan.

I knocked. No answer. I waited.
Hasiru tatachaibitasiga fenjiya neebirantan. Ifi gua ya macchobitan.

I left the white flower in a pot by the door.
Hasirunu subankai sirubana itteeru potto ucchani keiyabitan.

I packed my suitcase.
Suutsu keesu nkai simayaai tabinu shikoui sabitan.

The next morning, I looked out my window.
Naachanu asa madu kara huka njabitan.

My flower in the pot was on the window in front of the white curtains.
Potton kai icchooru wanga ukutaru sirusanu hanaga kaaten nu menu madun kai kazarattouibitan.

I took a taxi to the airport.
Wannnee taxi n kai nutyi kuukou n kai nkayabitan.

When I got home, I greeted my sister.
Yaann kai chichusito majoon siijaneesan nunkai eesachi sabitan.

She took me to father’s bedroom.
Shiija ya wann ottou meen kai soutyi ichabiitan.

He was lying in bed with a troubled look on his face.
Ottouya kumatanuchirasugaisi nintooibii tan.

“I’m home, Dad.”
“Keetyi chandou, ottou.”

The troubled look disappeared. Dad smiled.
Kumatooru chiraya kawatyi warai biitan.

He did not open his eyes. He just slept peacefully.
Miiya kutooubitashiga, tada nintoubiitan.

Sister played an old record of “Tinsagu Nu Hana.”
Neesann no umanji CHINSAGU NU HANA nu hurusanu rekoodo kakiibitan.

I recognized the song and the kutuu.
Wannnee kutu nu unuuta sjicchoibiitan.

“Who is that?”
“Aree taayaga?”

“This is Dad’s sister Kama who lived in Okinawa.”
“Ottou nu shiija neesan, Uchjnaan kai uru Kamaa du yandou.”

“She died forty years ago when she was 24 years old.”
“Unu cchu o namakarayonjuuninmeeni nijuuyon ityi urannatan.”

“She never came to Hawaii.”
“Ikkainn Hawaii nkai chee ndadyinu kotudee.”

“She played the kutuu very well. Dad always liked to hear her play.”
“Kutuu hichusi ippe jooji yatandyi. Ottouya uriga ensou chichusi jikonu tanoshimi yatandyi.”

I watched Dad sleep.
Wann nee ottouga nintouru sigata nchoi biitan.

Sister brought a picture album.
Neesan no arubamunu shasin mucchi chaabitan.

She showed me a picture of Aunty Kama playng the kutuu.
Neesann ya wann ninkai kutuu hichuru Kamaa-obasan nu shasin misiyabitan.

I was surprised.
Wann nee uduruchaibiitan.

I recognized the beautiful yellow Bingata kimono!
Waanne umanji chiirunu churasanu bingata nu chin miichiki yabitan.

I recognized her hair up in an Okinawan kanpuu.
Uchinaakanpuu nugutusi yuiagirattaru katakasiraga aibiitan.

Now I see her face.
Urikara chira ugamabitan.

Aunty Kama was beautiful.
Kamaa obasan no ippee churakaagii yaibiitan.

Sister says, “That’s funny. I never saw that flower in the pot next to her before.”
“Ukassasaaya、meeni nchanee subankai pottonu hanaya neerantashigaru.” neesan no iibiitan.

It was the white flower in a pot I left by her door in Chicago.
Uree wanga Chicago nji ucchi charu sirubana nu potto yaibiitan.

Dad passed away that night.
Unu yuuru ottou ya gusou n kai ichabiitan.

The next day many relatives came.
Naacha ippee eekanu chaa ga achimaibiitan.

When I was finally alone, I looked at Aunty Kama’s picture again.
Wanon ruuchuin kai natarutuchini matan Kamaa obasan nu shasin njabitan.

With my hand, I gently touched her face in the picture.
Wannnee yafattengua unu shashin sayasaaya sabitan.

“Thank you, Aunty Kama.”
Nifee deebitan, Kamaa obasan.

Photo: Okinawan Koto Lessons by jmurawski


By Rodney Inefuku
Japanese translation by Toma Shisei of Yomitan, Okinawa

ノックをした。返事はなかった。 少し待った。

Related article: ‘Tinsagu nu Hana’ Is Okinawa’s Official Favorite Song

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Alfredo Casero & Kazufumi Miyazawa: ‘Shima Uta’

Last updated 6/3/17 6:58am
“Alfredo Casero // Shima Uta en Japón,” YouTube, uploaded by aeroder flax on 6/18/15.

Alfredo Casero, an Argentine musician, actor and comedian, recorded “Shima Uta” in 2002, the first single from his album, Casaerius. His cover of the song written and recorded by Miyazawa Kazufumi in 1993, who was with the band “The Boom” at the time, became a huge hit in Argentina, where it was chosen as the anthem for the national football team to represent the country at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan. In this video, both Casero and Miyazawa share the stage at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan (Wikipedia).

Casero, Miyazawa, Oshiro 2

Casero, Miyazawa, and Japanese-Argentine folk singer Claudia Oshiro performed “Shima Uta” at the 53rd Kōhaku Uta Gassen on New Year’s Eve 2002.I’m not sure if this photo and the one below are from that particular performance.

Casero, Miyazawa, Oshiro 3

Casero, Miyazawa, and Oshiro receiving a rousing ovation.

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Hogen Coffee Shop to Perpetuate Uchinaaguchi?

Rodney HeaderHere is an idea for perpetuating Uchinaaguchi in Okinawa. Try to have Hogen (Uchinaaguchi) coffee shops in every town in Okinawa where anyone who wants to speak, learn, or practice it is welcome. The purpose is to create an environment for speaking the language. These coffee shops are identified by a special sign (perhaps a yellow flower symbol) to be placed outside so people passing by will know.

All who come to these Hogen coffee shops try to speak Uchinaaguchi to each other. Bring the ojisans and obasans, so we can hear their stories of the old days. If customers (first time) cannot understand Uchinaaguchi, then Japanese is spoken, but they are encouraged to listen, learn, and speak Uchinaaguchi. When they leave, they are encouraged to return to continue their learning. “It’s all love” is the attitude there.

Those who speak fluent Uchinaaguchi wear a particular colored sleeveless jackets (or t-shirt) to identify them as experts. They are offered free coffee, tea, juice, or soft drinks. They circulate from table to table to speak or teach Uchinaaguchi. They don’t work there. They can come and go as they please. Their sole purpose is to help perpetuate the language.  Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Language, Op-ed, Shimakutuba, Uchinaaguchi | 1 Comment

Ukwanshin Kabudan: January & March 2017

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From: Eric Wada

Okinawan New Year Celebration/ Lunar New Year January 28th

This year, the lunar New Year falls on Saturday, January 28th, which begins the year of the Rooster! Come join us for traditional Okinawan dances, music, lots of food and fun!

Jikoen Hall 6:00pm.
$20 adults
$10 children 4-12yrs, and seniors 80years and older

More information will be available very soon for the conference! If you are interested, want to register, or have any questions, please email ukwanshinevents@gmail.com

3rd LooChoo Identity Conference March 17-19

Save the dates! March 17-19, 2017, for the 3rd LooChoo Identity Conference to be held on O`ahu, Hawai`i. This conference brings together Shimanchu from all over and all ages, to share, discuss and discover a deeper understanding of Ryukyuan Identity through lively presentations and discussions. Come and meet others who are looking to become more connected with their roots.

This year, the conference will be joined by a talented and inspiring group of young students and leaders from Okinawaʻs Hands On group, who are working for the revitalization of Okinawan language and culture in Okinawa.

*Space is limited so register early!

*Those of you joining us from the neighbor islands, you may want to book early due to the Spring Break season. Ukwanshin has corporate accounts with Hawaiian Airlines and Island Air. We can assist you with both and offer extra discounts and free baggage, waived fees for your inter-island travel.

This is the link and instructions to book on Island Air.


Type in user name ukwanshin.flyislandair
type in password uchinaa808

If you would like Hawaiian, I would have to book for you through our corporate account. Please let me know if you need any assistance.

Posted in Announcement, Conference, Culture, Dance, Festival, Food, International, Language, Lecture, Music | Leave a comment

Norman Kaneshiro: Sanshin, Song, & Talk – 12/11/16 EWC 2-3pm

Rodney Header
Hi All,

Hope you all can find time between Christmas shopping to stop over at the East-West Center gallery this Sunday to listen to me talk and sing. The event is titled “Mimi-gusui: Life Sustenance Through the Ears” and will be from 2-3 pm this coming Sunday, December 11. Here is the link to the event/location.

Norman Kaneshiro, singing and playing the sanshin.

Norman Kaneshiro, singing and playing the sanshin.

I will be performing traditional Okinawan songs that help to remind us of important values our culture teaches us that can help guide us through troubled and uncertain times. Hope to see you there. -Norman Kaneshiro

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Robert Walker’s ‘Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands’ — Review

Rodney HeaderThe next time I visit Okinawa, I am taking Robert Walker’s Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands along with me. If anything, because in the back of the book, tucked in a cover, is a large beautiful folded map of the various island groups that make up the Ryukyu islands, including a detailed full map of the main island of Okinawa. On this folded map are also detailed maps of of Naha city, the Motobu peninsula, and the southern part of the main island of Okinawa.

rwalker02Robert Walker lived in Okinawa for 15 years, and during that time he visited every island from Kyushu to Yonaguni island (Yonagumijima) off the coast of Taiwan. He toured each island to see what the island was like, what life was like, and met many of the people who lived on the island. His observations and experiences are documented in this book. He talks about things that everybody knows about — and things that you may not know about. This is a very comprehensive and interesting book.

For instance, I always thought that Okinawa should look into the possibility of raising cattle to produce premium beef similar to Kobe beef. Via personal correspondence, I shared this thought with Mr. Walker, saying that the islands were perfectly suited for it. Mr. Walker wrote back and said that Okinawa already does that. “Look in my book. It’s called Ishigaki beef.”

Mr. Walker’s book begins with the Osumi Islands up north, just below Kyushu, and works all the way down to Yonaguni Island, Takara Islands, Amami Islands, main island of Okinawa, Miyako Islands (which Ishigaki Island is a part of), Yaeyama Islands (which Yonaguni island is a part of). No island is left out unless it happens to be only as large as your front yard. It even includes the islands east of Okinawa and west of Okinawa, the Kerama Islands and the Daito Islands.

There is a wonderful abundance of beautiful maps inside the book. For instance, in the beginning, there is an overall map of the Satsunan Islands. And then a more localized map of the Osumi Islands with a detailed discussion of each island in the group with beautiful photos accompanying the discussion.

Localized maps of the Tokara Islands and the Amami Islands are followed by discussions of each island in the respective group with many accompanying photos. This goes on for each group mentioned above. There are many maps like these throughout the book and many photos accompanying the discussion of each section.

You can tell that this was indeed Robert Walker’s labor of love. I sincerely believe that anyone who is planning to visit Okinawa should get a copy of his book. It might make you curious enough to go visit an island other than Okinawa and Yaeyama Islands. I found Amami-Oshima and Yakushima to be interesting and might even try to visit them someday.

Here is a very moving video about a giant Japanese cedar tree, the Jomon Sugi, on Yakushima just south of Kyushu.

If you are interested in getting Robert Walker’s Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands, I believe it is available in the bookstore at the Okinawan Center in Waipio. If you cannot get there, the book is available on Amazon.com. If you happen to be in the Little Tokyo area of LA, or Japantown in San Francisco, Seattle, or NYC, or Shinjuku, Tokyo, or even Singapore, you might want to check out the Kinokuniya bookstores. Or you can wait for the next Honolulu Okinawan Festival. Robert Walker will surely be there to autograph it.

Posted in Book, International, Publication, Review, Travel | 2 Comments

Uchinanchu Taikai 2016 Videos – Oct 28

161028NEWS▽ウチナーンチュの日制定への思い▽今月のキングス振り返り (ヨシオバー2 102816)

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Uchinanchu Taikai 2016 Videos – Oct 27

[updated 12/11/16]
161027NEWS▽世界のウチナーンチュ大会開会式!▽メイン会場の熱気を中継 (ヨシオバー2 102716)

第6回世界ウチナーンチュ大会 開会式 (琉球新報 102716) [6th World Uchinanchu Taikai Opening Ceremony, 21min]

Uchinanchu Festival 2016 Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko (CESAR AUGUSTO VELIZ FERNANDEZ 102716)

世界のウチナーンチュ大会 開会式 フィナーレのエイサー 20161027 sekai uchinanchu eisa (EverydayEisa 102716)

世界のウチナーンチュ大会2016 前夜祭バレード UTINANCHU FESTIVAL Festival Eve Parade [USA] (那覇国際通り) (okinawamovie 102716)

chuningcandy 2016.10.27 世界のウチナーンチュ大会 (すずきとおる 102716) [chuningcandy is a girls’ group comprising junior high and high school girls]

第6回 世界のウチナーンチュ大会 前夜祭パレード ペルー (shin3maniaTV 沖縄冒険編 102716) [6th Worldwide Uchinanchu Taikai Eve Parade Peru]

第6回 世界のウチナーンチュ大会 サンフランシスコ県人会のエイサー (shin3maniaTV 沖縄冒険編 102716) [6th Worldwide Uchinanchu Taikai Eve Parade San Francisco Kenjinkai]

第6回 世界のウチナーンチュ大会 前夜祭パレード ユタ州 UTAH (shin3maniaTV 沖縄冒険編 102716)

世界のウチナーンチュ大会2016 前夜祭バレード UCHINANCHU FESTIVAL Festival Eve Parade (那覇国際通り)No2 (okinawamovie 102716)

Posted in Culture, Dance, Eisa, Entertainment, Festival, International, Music, Taikai, Travel, Video | Leave a comment

Uchinanchu Taikai 2016 Videos – Oct 26

第6回世界のウチナーンチュ大会 前夜祭パレード (動画チャンネル 第6回ウチナーンチュ大会 102616) [6th Worldwide Uchinanchu Taikai Eve Parade, 2hr 6min]

6th Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival Parade, Oct 26 2016 (Just another day! 102616)


2016年10月26日那覇高校吹奏楽部 (ター坊 102616) [Naha high school brass band]

NAHA SHOPPING, UCHINANCHI TAIKAI PARADE – OCTOBER 26TH, 2016 (kenoconnorable’s channel 102616)

Brazilian Drumming at Uchinanchu Taikai! (Toranosuke 102616)

At the Uchinanchu Taikai Participants’ Parade! (Toranosuke 102616)

Bolivians at 6th World Uchinanchu Taikai Participants’ Parade (Toranosuke 102616)

第6回 世界のウチナーンチュ大会 前夜祭パレード アルゼンチン (shin3maniaTV 沖縄冒険編 102616) [ARGENTINA]

Brazil’s Okinawa Kenjin-kai, Uchinanchu Festival 2016 (Daniel Omine 102616)

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Beauty of Okinawa Oct. 2016

Updated 12/11/16

OKINAWA IS AWSOME (CHUNKIT CHAN 102516 – Video By gopro 4 black
Fpv + drone]

Okinawa Maha Island (Maha Kikugawa 102616)

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Mass Karate Demonstration on Kokusai Street 10/23/16

空手演武3973人 ギネス更新 国際通りで記念祭 (球新報 102316) [Kinen Festival karate demonstration on Kokusai Street: 3973 karateka attempt to break a Guinness world record.]

Posted in Culture, Exhibition, Festival, International, Karate, Video | Leave a comment

Illustrated Talk by Joyce Chinen on ‘Okinawans in Hawai‘i’ 10/2/16, 2-3pm at EWC Gallery

Joyce Chinen, Director, UH Mānoa Center for Okinawan Studies and Professor of Sociology, UH West O‘ahu

Joyce Chinen, Director, UH Mānoa Center for Okinawan Studies and Professor of Sociology, UH West O‘ahu

Sunday, October 2, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Illustrated talk: “Okinawans in Hawai‘i” by Joyce Chinen, Director UH Mānoa Center for Okinawan Studies and Professor of Sociology, UH West O‘ahu.

Free and open to the public; no reservations; general seating.

East-West Center Gallery
John A. Burns Hall
1601 East-West Road (corner Dole St. & East-West Rd.)
Admission: Free

Posted in Announcement, Culture, History, International, Lecture | 1 Comment

‘AYANUJI: Okinawa’s Traditional Culture Past and Present’ – EWC (Honolulu) Gallery 9/25/16 – 1/8/17

Click image to view the PDF flyer.

Click image to view the PDF flyer.


Posted in Announcement, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Exhibit, History, International, Music | Leave a comment

Honolulu City Council Ignoring Voters Urging a Resolution in Support of the People of Okinawa?

Rodney HeaderFellow Hawaii Okinawans,

Ever wonder why unlike Berkeley and Seattle (which don’t have the Okinawan population that we do), cities that have already voiced their support for Okinawa and its people, our illustrious Honolulu City Council is dragging its feet in putting forth a resolution in support of the Okinawan people in Okinawa?

Perhaps it wants to make sure the resolution is approved by the Japanese Consulate here in Hawaii, first, as they did with the original.

The Japanese Consulate?

Who does the Honolulu City Council represent? Their Honolulu constituents — of which many are of Okinawan stock — or the Japanese Consulate?

As the arm of PM Abe and the Japanese Government, the Japanese Consulate thought the language of the original resolution was “too inflammatory” and would embarrass the Japanese Government.

My immediate question: Why does the Japanese Consulate have a say in this?

Seems to me the Japanese Consul wants the resolution to be so benign that it wouldn’t be worth the paper it’s written on.

In the meantime, the Japan Times‘ Jon Mitchell reports that the “U.S. washes hands of rights violations at Okinawa helipad site” (8/31/16).

Posted in Government, International, Japan, Op-ed, Protest, Resolution | 3 Comments

Public Forum 9/1/16: Peace & Security for Okinawa (UH-Manoa 5:30-7:30pm)

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CONTACT: HOA (HAWAI`I OKINAWA ALLIANCE); Aiko Yamashiro: 358-0871; aiko.yamashiro@gmail.com


Aiko Yamashiro

Aiko Yamashiro

Honolulu, September 1, 2016- Community leaders from Okinawa are in Honolulu to appeal for the protection of their island from further US military base expansion that threatens public safety, critical natural resources, several endangered species, and local economy, among other concerns. Okinawans have overwhelmingly rejected more military bases, but the governments of Japan and the USA have ignored them, moving Okinawa to legal battles, civil disobedience and appeal for international support. Movement representatives will present their case in a public forum at the University of Hawai`i-Manoa, Center for Hawaiian Studies (2645 Dole St.) from 5:30-7:30 on Sept. 1st.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to view the original flyer.

Hiroshi ASHITOMI and Nago City Council Member Takuma HIGASHIONNA are from the Henoko region in rural Okinawa Island, the site of the contested naval port construction into pristine Oura Bay, the northernmost habitat of the endangered dugong. Joining these grassroots community leaders is the international director of the Save the Dugong Campaign Center (SDCC) and Meio University professor Hideki YOSHIKAWA, who will be presenting a related resolution at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress along with Nago Mayor Inamine. At the IUCN, the delegation will express dire concerns about alien species from imported soil to fill in the Oura Bay that experts warn will irreparably contaminate and damage the biodiversity of the fragile region.  Continue reading

Posted in Announcement, Government, International, Japan, Lecture, Politics, Protest, Rally | 3 Comments

‘Ōshima Hikki’ – Account of an 18th-Century Ryukyuan Ship

Rodney Inefuku’s latest post, “Okinawan and Japanese Boats” (8/6/16), prompted me to google Okinawan boats, and in the process I stumbled on one of the best sites on both Okinawan history and Okinawan karate — Ryukyu Bugei. The owner is Andreas Quast. (See his bio below.)

Quast’s series of articles on early Okinawan trading ships is based on Tobe Yoshihiro’s (戸部良煕) comprehensive 18th-century historical record, Ōshima Hikki (大島筆記), which focuses on interviews with a Ryūkyūan named Shiohira Pēchin. Tobe, a young Confucian scholar and retainer of the Tosa daimyō, lived in Ōshima, a small island off the southern tip of Tosa province in today’s Kōchi Prefecture (高知県).  Continue reading

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Okinawan and Japanese Boats

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I was always curious how Okinawans used to travel about Okinawa island during the old days. There was a road built by one of the Okinawan kings, which ran from Naha to Nago city past Nago through Taira village and Nakaoshi village in Haneji, going north to Ogimi (village of the Okinawan centurions) and Kunigami villages in the northern part of the island.

OkinawaMap6[1]But I imagine most villagers did not wander far from their villages because there were no means of transportation. I believe most villagers spent most of their lives in and close to their villages. To go from Naha and Nago was indeed a far walk. That would easily have taken several days.  Continue reading

Posted in Culture, History, Images, International, Japan, Op-ed, Photos | 1 Comment

Discussion on US Military Bases in Okinawa – Pre-register by 7/15/16

Click image for the PDF.

Click image for the PDF.

Continue reading

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Taikai 2016 Places to Visit: Makishi Monorail (Yui Rail) Station on Kokusai Dori

Makishi Station (牧志駅) is a railway station for the Okinawa Monorail (Yui Rail) in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. It is located on Kokusai Dori.

Makishi Station (牧志駅) is a railway station for the Okinawa Monorail (Yui Rail) in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. It is located on Kokusai Dori. Source of images, Google maps.

Visitors from Hawaii could view it as a model of stations that are now being built for Oahu's monorail system.

Visitors from Hawaii could view it as a model of stations that are now being built for Oahu’s monorail system.

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Taikai 2016 Places to Visit: Shopping Arcades on Kokusai Dori

Heiwadori, Mutsumidori and Ichiba Hondori shopping arcades where Okieidori meets Kokusaidori (国際通り).

Street entrances to Mutsumibashidori and Ichiba Hondori shopping arcades where Okieidori meets Kokusaidori (国際通り). To the far right is the Don Quijote Kokusai Street Store. Source of images, Google maps.

Naha Public Market (Makishi Kosetsu-ichiba), Heiwadori.

Street entrance to Heiwadori, Naha Public Market (Makishi Kosetsu-ichiba), which is to the left of Mutsumibashidori.


Google maps allows us to enter the interior of the Ichiba Hondori arcade, which is filled with a fascinating labyrinth of stall-like shops.

Interior view of one of the arcades.

Interior view of the Ichiba Hondori arcade.

Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Film, International, Taikai, Travel | Leave a comment

20-year-old Rina Shimabukuro Raped and Killed by Former US Marine

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Fellow Okinawans near and far: When will it end? WHO will support the Okinawan people? Should we just resign ourselves that as long as the US military remains in Okinawa, these crimes will continue? DOES ANYBODY CARE? If you see the politician that represents you, ask if he or she does.

Shimabukuro Rina, 20 years old

Shimabukuro Rina, 20 years old.

See “Okinawa Suspect Allegedly Admits to Rape of Woman Before Killing Her,” Kyodo, Japan Times, 21 May 2016.

Also see “U.S. Servicemen Plotted Girl’s Rape,” AP, Journal Times, 8 Nov. 1995.

Kenneth Franklin Shinzato, Navy Seaman Marcus Gill, Marine PFC Kendrick Ledet, Marine PFC Rodrico Harp

Former Marine Kenneth Franklin Shinzato, Navy Seaman Marcus Gill, Marine PFC Kendrick Ledet, Marine PFC Rodrico Harp.

Posted in International, Op-ed, Photos, Politics, Protest | 2 Comments

Taikai 2016 Information (update June 15)

6/15/16Route Finder Okinawa website to get around Okinawa by bus.

Click image to go to the Route Finder Okinawa site (http://www.routefinder-okinawa.com/route_search?Lang=en)

Click image to go to the Route Finder Okinawa site (http://www.routefinder-okinawa.com/route_search?Lang=en)

6/15/16 – Additional information from June McVey, communication coordinator of Okinawa Tomonokai of Ohio:

1. The 6th Worldwide Uchinanchu Fesitval committee in Okinawa will hand nametags and bus passes to kenjinkai representatives at the Naha airport.  You should make an arrangement with your kenjinkai (in Hawaii it’s HUOA) representatives regarding when and where to meet to obtain the nametag and bus pass.

2. The 10/26 parade on Kokusai Street is very fun. It is about 1 mile. You’ll be marching with 5,000 other Okinawans from all over the world.

3. The outdoor events are free.  However, you have to have tickets to see indoor shows.  These tickets are limited, so you should decide which show you want to see and tell the representatives of your kenjinkai or the person in charge of the event.  You may be able to buy some of the indoor show tickets onsite, but I am not sure.

6/15/16Outline of the 6th Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival (from the WUF website at wuf2016.com)

1. Festival Dates
a. Pre-festival Event: Wednesday, October 26
b. Festival Events: from Thursday, October 27 to Sunday, October 30.

2. Main Venues
Okinawa Cellular Stadium Naha, Okinawa Convention Center, Okinawa Prefectural Budokan Arena, Onoyama Comprehensive Athletic Park, Jichikaikan, Naha Civic Hall and others.

3. Festival Participants
a. Participants from overseas: approximately 5,000
b. Participants from Japan: approximately 500
c. Total number of spectators: approximately 350,000

4. Pre-event (Oct. 26)
a. Let’s Study! World Uchinanchu (One School One Country Study Program)
b. Uchinanchu Junior Study
c. Kaiho Yoshu Network Building Program
d. Festival Eve Parade and Welcome Reception

5. Main Events (Oct. 27-30)
a. Award Ceremony for Distinguished Services Overseas
b. Opening Ceremony
c. Closing Ceremony
d. Grand Finale

6. Related Events
a. Shurijo Castle Festival (presented by Shurijo Castle Festival Executive Committee)
b. Shimakutuba (Okinawan Language) related events (presented by Okinawa Prefecture Culture Association)
c. Emigration Documents Special Exhibition (presented by Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum)
d. Eisa dance events
e. Karate-related events (presented by Culture Promotion Division, Okinawa Prefectural Government)
f. The 5th Worldwide Youth Uchinanchu Festival (presented by World Youth Uchinanchu Association)

7. Program Events
These events aim to identify Okinawa’s allure through exchanges with participants from overseas, mainland Japan, and Okinawa, and to develop future leaders. We also plan to entertain participants from overseas and promote the purpose and importance of the festival among local Okinawans. Examples of events are Chanpuru Exchange Festival, World Bazaar, Uchinanchu Symposium, etc.

8. Program Event Proposals Open to the Public
We will accept event proposals that match the festival purposes and planning policy. We will then evaluate the applications with our screening criteria and select suitable events, and help the sponsors plan in order to carry out those events.

6/15/16 – Other Festival Events and Programs (from the Okinawa Island Guide:
1. World Business Fair
2. In addition, some of Okinawa’s most popular annual events, such as the Okinawa Industrial Festival, will take place before, during and after the 6th Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival.

6/14/16 – Finally getting some answers, thanks to my sister, for participants attending the taikai independently (not as part of a tour group) who want to participate in the opening/closing ceremonies at Cellular Stadium on Oct 27 & 30.

1. No tickets will be issued. Instead, each participant must have a pass/badge from the kenjinkai (Okinawa association) in her/his area. This pass will allow entry to the ceremeonies and other events. The registration form and pass are from the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG). “At the very least, this badge will identify you as an official overseas participant and entitle you to many offerings/benefits from the OPG, including entrance to the Opening and Closing ceremonies, free bus rides, discounts, etc.”

2. In Hawaii, the official kenjinkai is Hawaii United Okinawa Association (HUOA). You need to complete an application form by July 30, 2016. Click here for the individual form (Excel spreadhseet)  and here for the instructions (MS Word file).

3. You don’t need to be a member of HUOA to apply. Furthermore, “The Festival is not limited to Okinawan participants, so [the OPG] would also like you to include to the list any Japanese people from other prefecture or foreigners who would like to participate.”

4. Contact HUOA’s Bonnie Miyashiro if you have any questions: e-mail (bonnie-huoa@hawaii.rr.com), fax (808-676-7811) or phone (808-6765400).

6/12/16 – An excellent source of information is the Okinawa Tomonokai of Ohio website. They provide information on booking flights, rooms, and houses. An excellent suggestion is to purchase a bus pass to travel in Okinawa.

They also provide information on the Thursday October 27, 2016, opening ceremony at Cellular Stadium: “This is next to the Onoyamakoen monorail station. Enjoy live performances and welcome greetings from the Uchinanchu leaders. You can expect popular entertainers and Eisa dancers. Past festivals have had dramatic starts with unexpected surprises. This is a time to set together as a group, relax and enjoy the show. You can arrive by monorail or taxi. You may also walk across the bridge from downtown Naha.”

I emailed a question to the web staff re purchasing tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies at Cellular Stadium. I’ll post their reply as soon as I get it.

4/20/16Okinawa Taikai Caravan at Hawaii Okinawa Center 5/9/16 at 7PM

3/8/16Taikai 2016 Event Tickets: How to Get Them on Our Own?

Posted in Announcement, Conference, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Festival, Information, Instruction, International, Minyo, Music, Taikai, Travel | Leave a comment

‘UchinaAloha’ – Aug 25-Oct 1. 2016 (Honolulu)


World Premiere by Lee A. Tonouchi
Directed by Reiko Ho
August 25 – October 1, 2016
Charming Tradition vs. Change Comedy
“Da Pidgin Guerilla” Lee A. Tonouchi brings us a warm tale of generations of an Okinawan family in Hawai‘i.


Thursday, Friday & Saturday 8pm:

  • August 25, 26, 27
  • September 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 29, 30 (Please note, there will be no performances of UchinaAloha September 22-25; we will host Improvaganza that weekend)
  • October 1, 2016

Sundays 2pm:

  • August 28
  • September 4, 11, 18
  • October 2*

Continue reading

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US Military Bases on Okinawa: Is Anybody Listening?

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Fellow Okinawans near and far,

The question is often asked, “When will all this end?” But nobody listens. Look at the Japanese gov’t, the American gov’t, our Honolulu City Council. No one seems to take to heart the plight of the Okinawan people.

When will it end? Is anybody listening? Does anybody care?

Here’s a summary of the latest based on excerpts from an artlcle that appeared in the Yomiuri Shimbun (“U.S. forces must take stern steps to prevent criminal acts,” Japan News, May 21, 2016):

A cruel and unpardonable act was committed in Okinawa Prefecture. We urge the U.S. forces in Japan to take effective measures to prevent a recurrence of such a crime.

A 32-year-old civilian employee of the U.S. military has been arrested by the Okinawa prefectural police in connection with the incident in which a 20-year-old woman from the city of Uruma in the prefecture had been listed as missing since late April. He is suspected of abandoning her body in the woods of Onna village.

Continue reading

Posted in Battle of Okinawa, Government, Hawaii, History, International, Japan, Op-ed, Politics, Protest | 1 Comment