Okinawan POWs in Hawaiʻi – 5/18/20 5:30pm HST

Shaping Okinawan Identity and Community
in Hawaiʻi During World War II
Monday, May 18, 2020
5:30-6:30 PM
Live Webinar — Zoom

Brandon Marc Higa, JD, BA, MA; Director of Resources Development at Kapiolani CC; conducted post-graduate research on the U.S. military base presence in Okinawa Prefecture; currently pursuing a doctorate in law. Kelli Y. Nakamura, PhD; Assistant Professor at Kapiʻolani CC, History and Ethnic Studies; research interests include Japanese and Japanese American history.

To join the live webinar, please register using the sign-up link. You can also visit our Facebook page or Youtube channel to view the live stream video on May 18, 2020.

The King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center invites you to join Kelli Y. Nakamura and Brandon Marc Higa as they share stories about community building between Okinawan immigrants and Okinawan prisoners of war in Hawaiʻi. They will discuss assimilation policies enforced during Japan’s Meiji Restoration Era (1868-1912) to contextualize Okinawan people’s treatment as a minority within a minority. 

Honouliuli, photo by R. H. Lodge, courtesy of JCCH.

Then, our guest speakers will shed light on the experiences faced by Okinawan prisoners of war at Honouliuli incarceration camp, the largest and longest-running detention site during WWII. Yuimaaru, a term meaning “mutual assistance and cooperation,” will be explored throughout the presentation as a custom that emerged to unify and strengthen Okinawan identity and community throughout the war. Yuimaaru continues to characterize Okinawan relationships in Japan and Hawaiʻi today.

This program is adapted from the presenters’ recently published article in the University of California, Los Angeles’ Amerasia Journal titled, “Yuimaaru: Okinawan Prisoners of War Shape Okinawan Identity & Transnational Connections.”

The webinar will conclude with a live Q&A.

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