December 21, 2017

New Resource: Koza riot as seen by the U.S.

Filed under: resources — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

The Okinawa Collection recently acquired a book titled Beikoku ga mita Koza bōdō : Beikoku kobunsho Ei-Wa taiyaku (= Koza riot as seen by the U.S. : U.S. official document side by side in English and Japanese (1999).

Front cover of Koza riot as seen by the U.S.

コザ騒動(コザ事件)from 日本大百科全書(ニッポニカ)

「1970年(昭和45)12月20日、コザ市(現沖縄県沖縄市)で発生した沖縄住民による反米焼き打ち事件。コザ騒動ともいう。事件は、基地の街コザで起こった交通事故に端を発し、米軍憲兵の住民無視の事故処理と威嚇発砲に市民の怒りが爆発、約5000人の群集が米軍車両75台を焼き打ち、武装出動した憲兵隊約300人に投石、多数の負傷者を出した。同事件は、人権無視の米軍支配に対する沖縄住民の不満の爆発として受け取られ、沖縄返還協定の交渉中であった日米両政府に大きな衝撃を与えた」。

Ueunten, W. I. (2010). Rising Up from a Sea of Discontent: The 1970 Koza Uprising in U.S.-Occupied Okinawa. In Enloe C. (Author) & Shigematsu S. & Camacho K. (Eds.), Militarized Currents: Toward a Decolonized Future in Asia and the Pacific (pp. 91-124). University of Minnesota Press. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctttv7q0.10

“I [Wesley Iwao Ueunten] came across an account of a riot that occurred in Okinawa on December 20, 1970, that made its way to the front page of many major American newspapers but then suddenly disappeared from news coverage the next day. In the aftermath of the “Koza Riot,” or what I choose to call the “Koza Uprising” because it was not merely a chaotic and mindless fracas (a point about which I will address later; see Figure 5.1), over seventy cars owned by Americans and a few buildings on the huge Kadena Air Force Base, for which the town of Koza served as an entertainment district, were burned by Okinawans. No such violent protest by Okinawans toward U.S. military occupation can be remembered before or since then.”

[Militarized Currents : Toward a Decolonized Future in Asia and the Pacific, edited by Setsu Shigematsu, and Keith L. Camacho, University of Minnesota Press, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/uhm/detail.action?docID=548047.
Created from uhm on 2017-12-20 17:06:04.]

(n.s.) (2003 March 1). “Koza hanbei sodo / コザ反米騒動” in Ryukyu Shimpo.

December 18, 2017

Yakabushi – song sung by POWs at the Yaka camp in Okinawa

Filed under: resources — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

Yakabushi (song) and POWs in Okinawa

Yakabushi monument

[Image source: https://www.visitkintown.jp/en/spot/monument-to-yaka-prisoner-of-war-camp]

The song “Yakabushi [屋嘉節]” is often played during the peace memorial in June in Okinawa. In his article titled “Songs of War and Peace: Music and Memory in Okinawa” (2010), James E. Roberson writes:

“Survivors of the Battle of Okinawa, including many civilians, were initially placed by the American military into internment camps throughout Okinawa (Molasky 1999:17). Two well-known songs recall life in these camps, PW Mujō (also, PW Bushi) and Yaka Bushi (Bise 1998:184). The lyrics of both songs largely overlap and were written in the POW camp at Yaka. Both melancholic songs sing of sadness deepened by the harrowing experiences of war, by thoughts of homes and villages destroyed by fighting, by worries about the safety of relatives, and by personal troubles. The lyrics to the first verse of Yaka Bushi are(13)

Yaka Bushi

Beloved Okinawa, turned into a battlefield

Turned into a battlefield

All of the people, with flowing tears

With flowing tears”

Other resources and information related to the songs sung by the POWs are as follows:

  • Ryukyu Shimpo, Yaka Shūyōjoat de tsuito ensō : horyo tsukutta “Yakabushi” hibikaseru (Japanese) / 「屋嘉収容所跡で追悼演奏 捕虜つくった「屋嘉節」響かせる」(『琉球新報』、2017年6月23日)。
  • Nakasone, Ronald Y. (2002). Okinawan diaspora. (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Press), p. 109.

In 2005, Mr. Shōichi Chibana of Yomitan Village in Okinawa visited the West Bank, where he played Yakabushi (or Yaka Bushi) with a Ryukyuan musical instrument called sanshin / 三線.

  • Asahi Shinbun, evening edition (夕刊). (September 17, 2005). “Okinawa, Yimitan songi no Chibana Shōichi-san Paresuchina ni Ryukyu no chinkonka.” Accessed from database Kikuzo II Visual.

December 10, 2017

US Department of the Interior starts investigation on Okinawan POWs sent to Hawai’i

Filed under: news — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

On December 8, 2017 (Japan Time) Ryukyu Shimpo reported that the United States Department of the Interior decided to interview seven former Okinawan POWs (prisoners of war) who were sent to Hawai’i after 1945.

(n.s.) 2017, December 8. “Moto Hawai horyo o Amerika Kokumusho ga chōsa / 元ハワイ捕虜を米内務省が調査 きょうから沖縄県内7人 = US Department of the Interior begins interviewing former Okinawan POWs sent to Hawai’i.” Ryukyu Shimpo. Retrieved from https://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/entry-626937.html

Honouliuli Natioanl Monument

[Image source: https://www.nps.gov/hono/index.htm]

Those Okinawan POWs were sent to the Honouliuli internment camp, which is now certified as a national historic site in the United States.

In 2015 then United States President Barack Obama proclaimed the establishment of the Honouliuli National Monument.

https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2015/02/24/presidential-proclamation-establishment-honouliuli-national-monument

Cole, W. (2015, February 24). Obama signs Honouliuli monument proclamation. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved from http://www.staradvertiser.com/2015/02/24/breaking-news/obama-signs-honouliuli-monument-proclamation/

In June 2017, a memorial service was conducted in Hawai’i for 12 Okinawnas who died in Hawai’i.

Hurley, T. (2017, May 6). Okinawa delegation seeks closure for POWs. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved from http://www.staradvertiser.com/2017/05/16/hawaii-news/okinawa-delegation-seeks-closure-for-pows/

Okinawa Prefectural Library is going to have an event in which 3 former POWs will talk their experiences in the camp in Hawai’i. The flyer is available in PDF below.

http://www.library.pref.okinawa.jp/UserFiles/File/kyoudo/events/1217Talkevent.pdf

Okinawa Prefectural Library complied a list of resources related to Okinawan POWs in Hawai’i.

(The resources are written in Japanese.)

On October 18, 2017, Okinawa Prefectural Library had an exhibit of the Okinawa POWs. Ryukyu Asahi Hoso has a video clip in which a song PW-bushi (PW節) was being played.

ハワイ沖縄捕虜と移民の企画展

Adobe Flash required to watch the video.

University of Hawai’i news featured a publication on the Honouliuli published from the University of Hawai’i Press.

(2014, July 18). Breaking the Silence explores Honouliuli history. University of Hawai’i News. http://www.hawaii.edu/news/2014/07/18/breaking-the-silence-explores-honouliuli-history/

 

Falgout, S., &  Nishigaya, L., eds., Breaking the silence : lessons of democracy and social justice from the World War II Honouliuli internment and POW camp in Hawaiʻi. (Honolulu, Hawaiʻi : Department of Sociology, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa ; Distributed by University of HawaiʻI Press, 2014).

 

December 1, 2017

Obituary: Takejiro Higa, Nisei soldier from Oahu

Filed under: events,news — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 12:00 AM

From Obituaries in Honolulu Star-Advertiser (November 26, 2017)

Takejiro Higa, “94, of Honolulu, a World War II veteran of the Military Intelligence Service and retired Internal Revenue Service Agent passed away on October 7, 2017….He was active in many civic and cultural organizations including the Jikoen Hongwanji Mission, Kita Nakagusuku Sonjin Kai, Hawaii United Okinawa Association and Hui Makaala.”

  • Memorial Service Date: Saturday, December 2, 2017
  • Time: Visitation at 10:00 AM, Service begins at 11:00AM
  • Place: Hosoi Garden Mortuary (30 N Kukui St, Honolulu, HI 96817)

For more information about Mr. Takejiro Higa and his life, please visit http://blog.hawaii.edu/okinawacollection/2017/10/09/takejiro-higa-nisei-soldier-from-oahu-passes-away/