February 14, 2019

Iha Fuyu and Yanagita Kunio

Filed under: events — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 9:30 AM

The Center for Okinawan Studies (COS) at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa has invited Professor Emeritus Hiyane Teruo (比屋根照夫) as a guest lecturer. The event was held in the afternoon of Wednesday, February 13, 2019. The title of the colloquium was “the Rise of Modern Okinawan Discourse on Hawai’i’s Social Pluralism.”

“Information on Professor Hiyane: the author of some 20 books and numerous articles on modern Okinawa, will discuss how the Hawaiian Islands were represented as a land of hope and distress by Ifa Fuyū (1876-1947), the “Father of Okinawan Studies”; Ifa Getsujō (1880-1945), Ifa Fuyū’s brother and outstanding journalist who died in the battle of Okinawa; and Higa Seikan (1885-1985), Ifa Fuyū’s follower and Okinawan pastor who immigrated to Hawai’i. The topic of relevant to the democratic ideals and reality that Okinawa continues to face today.”

Excerpt from http://manoa.hawaii.edu/okinawa/wordpress/?p=2241

Professor Hiyane Teruo Colloquium

During the Q & A session, Professor Hiyane made a remark on the friendship between Iha Fuyū (伊波普猷) and Yanagita Kunio (柳田國男).

There is Yanagita Bunko at Seijō University. Yanagita Bunko has an extensive collection of resources related to Tokara, Amami, and Ryukyu islands.

The Okinawa Collection at UH has some items related to this topic.

Another question was raised from the audience with regard to Iha’s idea of preserving Uchinaguchi.

Patric Heinrich’s article, “Hōgen ronsō: the great Ryukyuan languages debate of 1940” sheds light on this issue, including the role Yanagita Kunio and Yanagi Muneyoshi played in the Japan Folk Crafts Society.

  • Heinrich, Patric. “Hōgen ronsō: the great Ryukyuan languages debate of 1940,” in Contemporary Japan, 25(2): 167-187. DOI 10.1515/cj-2013-0008


Professor Hiyane at COS

February 2, 2019

Echoes of Uchina de-ku in Hawai’i

Filed under: community,events — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 10:30 AM

Ukwanshin Kabudan announced the following taiko (drum) event.

Echoes of Uchina de-ku in Hawai'i

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Mitsufumi Ryubu Taiko, a special concert featuring musicians from Mitsufumi Ryubu Taiko Hozon Kai with an appearance by Hawaii Taiko Kai will be performed on Sunday, April 14 at the Hawaii Okinawa Center. An Aloha Party with entertainment by Hawaii Taiko Kai, Senju Kai and Urizun will follow the concert. Please see the attached flyer for ticket information.

Free bus shuttle will be available to/from the concert. The first bus will leave Jikoen Hongwanji to HOC [Hawai’i Okinawa Center]  and return after the concert. A second bus will return later for those riders attending the Aloha Party.

  • Date: April 14, 2019
  • Time: 3:00 PM (performance) ; Door opens at 2:30 PM
  • Place: Hawai’i Okinawa Center (94-587 Uke’e Street, Waipahu, HI 96797)
  • Aloha Party to follow performance
  • Admissions:
    • Performance Tickets: $35/person
    • Aloha Party tickets: $25/person

For bus reservations, please contact: Diana Kawaguchi
phone: 808-261-8421 (leave your name/phone number)
email: dk1284[at]yahoo.com (send your name/phone number)

Please replace [at] with @.

Please come and enjoy an afternoon of exciting music and join us at the Aloha Party to meet and greet the talented performers.

January 8, 2019

Year of the Pig Shinnenkai at Jikoen Hongwanji Temple

Filed under: events — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 9:00 AM

Ukwanshin Kabudan [=御冠船歌舞団] a Ryukyu/Okinawa performing arts troupe based in Hawai`i, announced that they would throw a Lunar New Year Celebration at Jikoen Hongwanji Temple Hall in Honolulu, HI. Traditionally Okinawans celebrate the New Year on a lunar calendar. This year the Lunar New Year falls on February 5, 2019.

Year of Pig Lunar New Year celebration by Ukwanshin Kabudan

Title of the Event: Lunar New Year Celebration

Date: Saturday, February 9, 2019

Time: 5:30 PM- (Doors open at 5:30 PM)

Location: Jikoen Hongwanji Temple

Admissions Fees: Adults- $20, Children (12 years and below) – $10.00

RSVP is required.

Contact: Ukwanshin Kabudan at 808-781-9658 or ukwanshinevents[at]gmail.com

January 7, 2019

HUOA Anthology Project: Commemorating 120th Anniversary of Okinawans in Hawai‘i

Filed under: diaspora — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 10:00 AM

The Hawai’i United Okinawa Association (HUOA) announced that it will solicit original works to commemorate the 120th anniversary of Okinawans in Hawai’i. The first Okinawan immigrants arrived in Hawai’i in 1900, and the year 2020 marks the 120th anniversary.

120th anniversary of Okinawan in Hawaii

The HUOA named the project as the Anthology Project. The announcement reads:

This project will ultimately take the form of a multimedia collection—a mixed anthology, if you will—of original works about our Okinawan heritage in Hawaii and will be ready sometime in 2020. This project is partially funded by a generous Hui O Laulima Cultural Grant for 2019. This anthology will contain original materials submitted by people in the community about what it means to be Uchinanchu in Hawai’i. What makes this collection different from others is that it will not be limited to written literary materials, but will also include other media and forms of
expression, as there are various kinds of talent in our community.

Source: http://www.huoa.org/nuuzi/uchinanchu/2018/uchi_2018_11NovDec.pdf (Page 6)

Theme: Our Okinawan Heritage in Hawai’i
Submission Period: Accepting submissions of works from now until June 30, 2019
Anything that is Okinawan-themed and tied to our heritage here in Hawaii is acceptable.
The submissions could have historical and/or cultural themes, including artistic expressions.
Please help get the word out about this project so that people hear about it and will consider submitting their works.

Any questions?

Email: hi.uchinanchu1900@gmail.com

Call: (808) 295-3828

Submit works to: hi.uchinanchu1900@gmail.com

December 24, 2018

Okinawa Festival in Yokohama Japan

Filed under: diaspora — Tags: , , — okinawacollection @ 10:00 AM

There are two major cities in mainland Japan where many Okinawans migrated for work. Tsurumi-ku (Tsurumi Ward) in Yokohama City is one of the areas where Okinawan descendants keep their culture by having an annual Okinawan Festival. This year, 2018, Tsurumi Uchina Matsuri (Tsurumi Okinawan Festival) was held on November 11 & 12 (Sat & Sun).

Tsurumi Uchina Festival 2018

Source: https://鶴見ウチナー祭.com/

The Okinawa Collection recently acquired a monograph on Okinawans in Yokohama.

Yokohama Tsurumi Okinawa Kenjinkai, Editor, Issuing Body. Yokohama Tsurumi Okinawa Kenjinkaishi : Tsurumi Okinawa Kenjin Hyakunen No Ayumi. 2016.


  • Yokohama Tsrumi Okinawa Kenjinkai
  • Internal migrants — Japan — Yokohama-shi
  • Ryukyuans — Japan — Yokohama-shi — History
  • Tsurumi-ku (Yokohama-shi, Japan) — History

Language: Japanese

December 19, 2018

LooChoo Identity Summit 2019

Filed under: events — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 10:00 AM

Ukwanshin Kabudan, a non-profit, Ryukyu performing arts troupe based in Honolulu, has announced that the registration for the 5th LooChoo Identity Summit is now open. This year the LooChoo Identity Summit (previously called Conference) will be held at Hale Ākoakoa on the campus of Windward Community College in Honolulu, HI.

What is LooChoo and what is LooChoo Identity Summit?

5th LooChoo Identity Summit

According to the organizer, the LooChoo Identity Summit is:

“… a three-day gathering that brings people of Ryukyuan descent and Ryukyuan enthusiasts together to ponder and discuss various themes relating to Ryukyuan identity and indigeneity. Over the course of a weekend, we do a variety of lectures, performances, small-group discussions, and large-group sharing to guide participants through a process of critically thinking about their identity and/or their roles within the ethnic community both locally and abroad. While we call it a ‘summit’ – for lack of a better English term – we do not aim to come to a general consensus or resolution, but instead, aim to have individuals walk away with their own personal affirmations that will hopefully spark actions, big and small, to perpetuate understanding and appreciation of our Ryukyuan heritage.”

Source: https://loochooidentity.org/about-2/

The registration and summit’s schedule are available on the following pages.



If you have any questions, please contact the organizer.

December 14, 2018

Old Maps in Asia: An International Symposium at Toyo Bunko

Filed under: news — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 2:00 PM

On December 8 & 9, 2018, the Seventh International Symposium of Inter-Asia Research Networks was held at Toyo Bunko in Tokyo, Japan.

Old Maps in Asia Toyo Bunko Symposium

Image source: https://sites.google.com/site/tbkenkyubulecture/kenkyukai-sinpo

(Accessed on December 14, 2018)

The theme of the symposium was “Old Maps in Asia: Basic Information and Perspective for New Research.” Two researchers made presentations on the maps of Okinawa.

(1) WATANABE Miki (The University of Tokyo)

“The Oldest Map Becomes the Newest: Takemori Dōetsu’s 1696 Map of the Ryūkyū Kingdom”

(2) TAKAHASHI Kimiaki (Toyo Bunko; Nagoya University)

“Ryukyu and Taiwan in Maps of China Made in Edo Japan”

The National Archives of Japan’s Digital Archive has several maps of the Ryukyus.


The Okinawa Prefectural Archives also has a page dedicated to the maps of the Ryukyus.


Past Events related to the Maps of the Ryukyus

Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum’s exhibition: “Maps of the Ryukyus and Okinawa” (February – April 2017)

Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum Exhibit 2017

November 27, 2018

Bone-Washing Ritual in Okinawa

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 10:00 AM

In December 2016, the Okinawa Collection Blog delivered the news that the film titled Born Bone Boon was premiered at the 11th Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia. The same film, Born Bone Born (the Japanese original title is 「洗骨」(senkotsu) is one of the films premiered at the 38th Hawai’i International Film Festival.

The film uses a bone-washing ritual practiced in a part of Okinawa.

The film’s official site: http://senkotsu-movie.com/

Born Bone Born from HIFF on Vimeo.

The trailer: https://vimeo.com/288817513

This film was directed by Toshiyuki Teruya, who is known as his stage name, “Gori.” Gori is one of the comedians who came to UH Mānoa with the play titled Alohaitai.

Evgeny S. Baksheev wrote an article on rituals in Okinawa, including bone-washing, which is available as an Open Access resource.

Baksheev, Evgeny S. “Becoming Kami? Discourse on Postmortem Ritual Deification in the Ryukyus.” Japan Review, no. 20 (2008): 275-339.

Another author wrote, “[t]he living answer the call of the dead, helping them to resume their
material engagement with the social world. Through most of Okinawa, the practice of senkotsu (bone washing), a creative, coordinated labor organized by the women of the community, was necessary to transform the ruins of the human body into a thing pure and beautiful.”

Christopher T. Nelson. “Listening to the Bones: The Rhythms of Sacrifice in Contemporary Japan.” Boundary 2, Vol. 42, No. 3 (2015): 143-155; the quote from Nelson, “Listening to the Bones,” p. 146.

November 16, 2018


Filed under: diaspora — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 10:00 AM

A troupe of comedians in Japan came to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UH Mānoa) on October 17, 2018. Most of the troupe members are from the Yoshimoto Creative Agency.

The name of the event, “Alohaisai,” comes from two words: Aloha from Hawai‘i, and Haitai (hello in Okinawan language). The troupe played 2 shows, and the theme of the comedy was thanking Okinawans in Hawai‘i for their War Relief rescue effort.

Alohaisai event

Image source: http://okinawa-shinkigeki.com/hawaii.pdf

The post-War rescue effort was also a theme for an issue of the journal Momoto, a bi-monthly magazine published in Okinawa, Japan.

Momoto vol. 35 Summer 2018

Image source: https://www.momoto.online/product-page/vol-35


September 23, 2018. “Hawai Daigaku de hatsukaisai! Okinawa Shinkigeki tsuā, “Kokoro ga tsunagu arohaisai.” Retrieved from https://www.allhawaii.jp/article/3235/

October 29, 2018. “Hawai. Warai tanoshimi kokoro tsunagu Hawai de shinkigeki seikyō sengo no Okinawa shien ni kansha. Retrieved from https://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/entry-825881.html

October 22, 2018

2018 HUOA Legacy Award

Filed under: community,events — okinawacollection @ 10:00 AM

The 2018 Hawai’i United Okinawa Association (HUOA) Legacy Award Banquet was held in the Coral Ballroom of the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Sunday, October 14, 2018.

Hawai’i Governor David Ige attended the banquet.

According to The Hawai’i Herald, the awardees are as follows:

“[T]he late Thomas Taro Higa; Dr. Satoru Izutsu, Ph.D.; former Gov. John Waihe‘e and former first lady Lynne (Kobashigawa) Waihe‘e; retired state Sen. Patsy (Miyahira) Young; and Hooge Ryu Hana Nuuzi no Kai Nakasone Dance Academy shihan Lisa Nakasone Nakandakari, Keith Oshiro and Julia Okamura.”

Herald_admin, “Community Focus–HUOA to Honor Eight at Oct. 14 Legacy Award Banquet,” October 15, 2018, The Hawaii Herald, https://www.thehawaiiherald.com/community-focus-huoa-to-honor-eight-at-oct-14-legacy-award-banquet/.

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