Category Archives: History

‘Please remember that Okinawa’s memorial day is on June 23rd’

This reminder is from Hachiro on 3 June 2015. The following text and photos are from Wikipedia: “Okinawa Memorial Day (慰霊の日 Irei no Hi?, lit. “the day to console the dead”) is a public holiday observed in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture … Continue reading

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70th Anniversary of Battle of Okinawa: OAA June 2015

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Taira Village Orphanage and Uncle Hoichi

Below is an old photograph of Hoichi and his dad, Hoyei Inafuku, among a group of Okinawan men. Hoichi is the young man in the middle sitting on the floor. His father, Hoyei, my grandfather, is sitting on the chair … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Haneji, Hawaii, History, International, Kauai, World War II | 1 Comment

Baker and Shimabukuro: Two Views of WWII

Excerpts from Eric Talmadge’s “Iwo Jima Vet, Okinawa Survivor Wrestle with WWII Legacy,” Japan Times, 21 Apr. 2015: In Norman Baker’s mind, the Japanese were fanatical, brutal animals with no respect for life. To Yoshiko Shimabukuro, Americans were long-nosed demons … Continue reading

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The Overriding Emotion of Okinawans in WWII Was Patriotism

On 1 June 2015, the contents of this article were combined with an article originally published a day earlier on 7 Apr. 2015. See the expanded article, “The Romantic View of Okinawans as Pacifists.” -JS

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The Romantic View of Okinawans as Pacifists

Expanded 6/1/151 Stephen Mansfield’s article, “Okinawa: In the Crosshairs of War” (Japan Times, 4 Apr. 2015), is troubling in the sense that it perpetuates a romantic myth about Okinawans that is repeatedly used for propaganda. For example, he claims that … Continue reading

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‘The Okinawan Koto Tradition in Hilo, Hawaii’ 4/10/15

Updated 4/7/15 Center for Okinawan Studies Monthly Lecture Series Presents: “From ‘Tachiutushi’ to ‘Old Macdonald’: The Okinawan Koto Tradition in Hilo, Hawaii” The presentation discusses Okinawan cultural continuity in the diaspora as well as the So-shin Kai Midori and efforts … Continue reading

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US Olympian with Roots in Haneji, Okinawa

Yoshinobu (Yoshi) Oyakawa represented the United States at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helinski, Finland. There, he won the gold medal in the 100 meter backstroke setting a new record in the process. Yoshi is considered the last of the great … Continue reading

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An A’ala Street Story

Gladys Sui Bun Young, my mother, was born on November 28, 1917, at home at 1071 A’ala Street bordering A’ala Park and across the river from Chinatown. Gladys was one of six girls born into the Young family. In their … Continue reading

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Marathon, Miss Okinawa, Sogo Hospital, Nakasone Endowment, AmerAsian School, Karate & China

Sunday’s Okinawa Marathon is a wide open event, as more than 11,000 runners toe the Okinawa City starting line for the kick off of the 26.2-mile event…. The Okinawa Marathon begins at Awase, then carries runners through Takahara, near Koza, … Continue reading

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OAA Hosting Screening of Chie Mikami’s ‘The Targeted Village’ 2/28/15

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Boxing: Fatalities in Hawaii, December 7, 1941

[Note: This article, “Boxing: Fatalities in Hawaii, December 7, 1941,” by Joseph R. Svinth, was first published in Journal of Combative Sport, December 2000. It is republished here with Mr. Svinth’s kind permission. -editor] Contributors: Newspaper and archival research: Patrick … Continue reading

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‘Continuity & Change in Shuri-Style Kumiwudui’ 2/15/15

If you’re free this Sunday, you might want to see this — IT’S FREE! Center for Okinawan Studies School of Pacific and Asian Studies University of Hawai’i at Manoa 1890 East-West Road, Moore Hall 316 Honolulu, HI 96822-2318 Webpage:  http://manoa.hawaii.edu/okinawaContinue reading

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Karate Pioneer Kentsu Yabu, 1866-1937

Updated 2/13/15 [Note: This article, “Karate Pioneer Kentsu Yabu, 1866-1937,” by Joseph R. Svinth, was first published in Journal of Combative Sport, June 2003. It is republished here with Mr. Svinth’s kind permission. -editor] By Joseph R. Svinth Acknowledgments: An … Continue reading

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Uncle Hoso: A Hero and a Loving Father

For many years when I was at my Aunty Annie’s (dad’s twin sister) apartment across from Punahou School and went to the bathroom, I used to pass some family pictures that hung on her hallway wall. I would sometimes stop … Continue reading

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Marines Protecting Orphan – Battle of Okinawa

Special thanks to Ed for sharing the link to this precious photo of two U.S. Marines, during the Battle of Okinawa, protecting an Okinawan child orphaned by the battle.

Posted in History, Images, International | 3 Comments

Haneji Community Center – Sometime After 1945

Updated 1/27/15, 23:00 I was told by my cousin, Yasuo Inafuku, who lives in Taira village, Haneji, Okinawa, that the photo below is of the Haneji Community Center, which was located next to Oyakawa village. My dad, Ronald Inefuku, had … Continue reading

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Ishigaki, Akama Athletic Park, Karate, Ssit-kkim-gut, Naminoue, Okinawa Prefectural Museum

Stephen Mansfield, “Isolation Helps Preserve Ishigaki’s Unique Charm,” Japan Times, 12/27/14 – A different past was evident in the older back streets of the port town, which were like dusty medinas — crooked lanes of salt-eroded cement homes covered in … Continue reading

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Hawaii Nisei Okinawans in Itoman for 12/6/14 Symposium on Battle of Okinawa

Updated 12/26/14 Excerpts from the Ryukyu Shimpo, 12/7/14: “Former US soldiers of Okinawan descent; war destroys all.” “[Yoshinobu Oshiro, 86] who was born and raised in Hawaii, experienced the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941. He was enlisted in … Continue reading

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Battle of Okinawa, Uchinaguchi

Ryukyu Shimpo, Ota Masahide, Mark Ealey and Alastair McLaughlan, “Descent into Hell: The Battle of Okinawa.”1 The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 12, Issue 47, No. 4, December 1, 2014: “Those who had not been able to take their own lives with … Continue reading

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2015 Okinawan Festival (Honolulu) – Sep. 5 & 6

Updated 8/13/15, 9/5/15 Okinawan Festival Hours Saturday, SEPTEMBER 5, 2015 Festival Festivities begin at 9:00 am Most food booths & tents close at 6:00 pm Only select food booths open until 8:00 pm Live Entertainment at Kapiolani Park Bandstand: 9:00 … Continue reading

Posted in Announcement, Culture, Dance, Exhibit, Fair, Festival, Food, Fundraiser, History, International, Karate, Language, Media, Music, Travel | Leave a comment

Uchinanchu Dispersion in the World (2010?)

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‘The Legend of Nanga Bozu,’ ‘Ryukyu Kingdom After 1609: Social Classes and Genealogy,’ ‘A Film About the Uchinanchu People’

Updated 12/3/14 ‘Map It!’ (by Louie) Sep/Oct 2014: The Legend of Nanga Bozu  (10/30/14); The Naha Tug-of-War  (9/29/14). “A Film About the Uchinanchu People” (42 min) from the Secretariat of the 5th World Uchinanchu committee (Okinawaology Blog, 11/7/12). Uploaded to … Continue reading

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My 3rd Trip to China: The China-Okinawa Connection

One day in Shanghai, we spent a few hours at the City God Temple shopping center looking around. We had finished a delicious multi-course lunch there in one of the restaurants and were waiting for our bus to come pick … Continue reading

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Book: ‘Descent into Hell: Civilian Memories of the Battle of Okinawa’

Source: “Descent into Hell: Civilian Memories of the Battle of Okinawa by New Zealand translators published in US,” Ryukyu Shimpo, 7 Oct. 2014. Descent into Hell: Civilian Memories of the Battle of Okinawa, published by Merwin Asia, is a translation … Continue reading

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Okinawa’s Elevated Storehouses

Last updated 10/13/14 One day my Dad made a sketch of Uncle Hoso’s house in Oyakawa Village in Haneji, Okinawa. (See “The Floor Plan of Houses in Old Okinawa.”) On another day he took a notepad and sketched an elevated Okinawan … Continue reading

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1850 British View of ‘Lewchew and the Lewchewans’

Last updated 10/12/14, 11/29/18 Two and a half years before Commodore Matthew C. Perry arrived, George Smith, the Anglican bishop of Hong Kong, dropped anchor at Naha, Okinawa. The date was 3 October 1850, and Perry wouldn’t arrive until 26 May … Continue reading

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Public Lecture: ‘Contemporary Life in Okinawa: Living Among and with the Military Bases’ 10/12/14

Last updated 10/11/14 From Joyce N. Chinen: (Forwarded by Rodney Inefuku) Please join us this Sunday, October 12, at 3:00 pm for the next Center for Okinawan Studies public lecture in Moore 319 at the Center for Korean Studies Auditorium … Continue reading

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Lawrence Downes – An Uchinanchu on the NY Times Editorial Board

Last updated 10/5/14 The excerpts below are from Jerry Kammer’s “Sulzberger’s Voice.”1 Kammer, a nationally recognized journalist and a senior research fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, is openly critical of Downes, but he provides essential background on Downes … Continue reading

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Compact Between the U.S. and the Kingdom of Loo-Choo, ll July 1854

The text of the compact below is from J. Willett Spalding’s The Japan Expedition: Japan and Around the World: An Account of Three Visits to the Japanese Empire, Redfield, New York, 1855: 339-341 [https://archive.org/details/japanexpedition00spalgoog]. Spalding served aboard the expedition flagship, … Continue reading

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