Shaping Okinawan Identity and Community
in Hawaiʻi During World War II
Monday, May 18, 2020
Live Webinar — Zoom
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.
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.