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.
6/15/16 – Outline 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 (email@example.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.