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)


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

“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,
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:]

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.

November 22, 2017

50th Anniversary UH-Chubu Program Celebration (video recording of the event)

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

Several video recording of the 50th anniversary celebration of the UH Post-Graduate Medical Education Program at Chubu Hospita, Okinawa, became available.

The event was held at the Center for Korean Studies at UH Manoa campus on November 5, 2017.

“The program begins with Keynote Speaker Dr. Kaoru Ashimine, Director of the UH Postgraduate Medical Education Program at Chubu Hospital. Other speakers include Dr. Satoru Izutsu, Vice Dean of JABSOM, Dr. Junji Machi, Kuakini Medical Center, Graduate of the Program and Current Professor of the UH Postgraduate Medical Education Program at Chubu Hospital. And Ms. Ann Ito, Director of the UH Mānoa Kōkua Program. She also is the daughter of Steven Chinen, who assisted in establishing the program.” []

The video is available on YouTube.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa is going to acquire a copy a commemorative book on the 50th anniversary from the Chubu Hospital.

The event held in Okinawa is available from the Ryukyu Shimpo’s website.



October 16, 2017

Okinawans in Brazil: new acquisitions

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

The Okinawa Collection is pleased to announce some additions to the collection. The items were donated by the Okinawa Brazil Kenjinkai in Brazil.

  • 1 século de história em fotos : a comunidade Okinawana no Brasil = Shashin de miru Burajiru Okinawa kenjin imin no rekishi (写真で見るブラジル沖縄県人移民の歴史)
  • 325 Okinawans: relação contendo a síntese de suas trajetórias de vida = Kasadomaru Okinawa kenjin imin 325-mei : meibo oyobi kantanna sokuseki (笠戸丸沖縄県人移民325名 : 名簿及び簡単な足跡) (a supplement to the book above)
  • Imigração Okinawana no Brasil : 90 anos desde Kasato Maru
  • Kaikoroku : oshidori beiju wo mukaete = Retrospectivas : realização da “oshidori beiju” (回顧録 : おしどり米寿を迎えて) by Isamu Yamashiro / 山城勇


photos of gift items from Brazil

These items will become available once being cataloged.

There is a research institute in Brazil that focuses on immigrants from Okinawa and mainland Japan called Centro de Estudos Nipo-Brasileiros (= the Center for Japanese-Brazilian Studies) in San Paulo, Brazil. The Center offers an extended amount of resources, including statistics on immigrant population from Japan, photographs of immigrants, and a database to look up immigration histories (the interface of the database is written in Japanese).

The following resources might be of interest for those who are interested in learning Okinawan immigrants to Brazil.

The University of the Ryukyus has a database called BIDOM (Bibliographic Information Database of Okinawa Materials). The database mainly collects the books, articles, and newspaper articles related to Okinawa that are written in Japanese. However, as of October 6, 2017, a search with keywords, “Okinawa” and “Brazil” (in Japanese) retrieved 109 results (this search was limited to journal and newspaper articles).

image of BIDOM search results

Lastly, the National Diet Library (NDL) of Japan has a website that commemorates the 100th year of Japanese emigration to Brazil. The site is available in 3 languages: Japanese, Portuguese, and English.

Japanese emigration to Brazil site

NDL’s site has a page with a list of links that might be useful to understand the Japanese (including Okinawa) emigration history in Brazil.

September 26, 2017

New Acquisitions – Picture Book

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

A picture book: Okinawa and the reversion era, the times before and after 1972

UH Mānoa Library is pleased to announce that it received a book titled A picture book: Okinawa and the reversion era, the times before and after 1972.

Okinawa and the reversion era


Okinawa and the reversion era sample page



There are many resources related to Okinawa’s reversion. The easiest way to find the materials housed in the UHM Library is to follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Voyager (OPAC) at
  2. Enter the keywords, “Okinawa,” and “reversion” in the search box.

The gift item will provide visual aids to understand Okinawa in the reversion era.

July 14, 2017

“Amerikayu”: Okinawa under the US occupation from 1950 to 1972

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

Amerika yu* / アメリカ世

*In Okinawa, “yo / 世” is pronounced as “yu / ゆ.”

After Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces at the end of WWII, first the United States Navy, then the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Island (USCAR) occupied Okinawa until 1972.  The era Okinawa was under the US occupation is often referred as “Amerika yu / アメリカ世.” In 1972 Okinawa was returned to Japan (reversion) .  The era after the reversion is called “Yamato yu / 大和世 (やまとゆ).”

Yahoo! Japan has a page that provides interviews of those who lived in “Amerikayu.”

“Beikoku to ikita ‘Amerikayu’ to wa : fukki 45-nen no Okinawa o iku” / 米国と生きた「アメリカ世」とは:復帰45年の沖縄を行く (The page is written in Japanese)

picture of a musician named Kyan Marie

[Image source:]

On the page a video shows an interview of a musician named George Murasaki. Murasaki explained how he and other musicians such as Kyan Marie (喜屋武マリー) worked in clubs which served the US servicemen.

Professor James Roberson at the Kanazawa Seiryo University has written numerous articles on Okinawa under the US occupation, and the occupation’s influence in culture, especially in music.

Here are some articles written by Prof. Roberson:

  • Roberson, James E. (November 2011). “Doin’ our thing”: identity and colonial modernity in Okinawa rock music.” Popular Music and Society,  34(5): 593-620.
  • Roberson, James E. (July 2010). “Singing diaspora: Okinawan songs of home, departure, and return.” Identities,  17(4): 430-453. DOI: 10.1080/1070289X.2010.492330

Print resources at UH Mānoa Library

Sengo o tadoru : “Amerika yu” kara “Yamato no yu” e (=戦後をたどる : 「 アメリカ世」から「ヤマトの世」へ) / Naha-shi Rekishi Hakubutsukan hen.

July 3, 2017

Okinawa 1935: photos before the Battle of Okinawa

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

Okinawa 1935: a collaborative website between Asahi Shinbun and The Okinawa Times

Okinawa 1935 (沖縄1935: 写真でよみがえる戦前) is a website collaborated by the two newspaper companies in Japan–Asahi Shinbun and The Okinawa Times.

The site offers a glimpse of people’s lives in Koja, Naha, Itoman, and Kudakashima with the photos taken in 1935–before the Battle of Okinawa. The photographs on the site are available for purchase through Asahi Shinbun Photo Archive. The site also provide the readers with the related newspaper articles.

Top page of a website titled Okinawa 1935

Newspaper articles from Okinawa 1935


June 22, 2017

June 23 is irei no hi (Okinawa Memorial Day)

Filed under: news,resources — Tags: , , — okinawacollection @ 4:00 PM

June 23: Irei no hi (慰霊の日 / Memorial Day) in Okinawa

Yahoo! Japan and The Ryukyu Shimpo has created a special site to teach the viewers and readers about the Battle of Okinawa and the victims during the war.

“Okinawa-sen to, sonogo / 沖縄戦と、その後 (The Battle of Okinawa and its aftermath)” in “Mirai ni nokosu sensō no kioku / 未来に残す戦争の記憶 (memories to pass on for the future)” at Yahoo! Japan

*The site is written entirely in Japanese

The video from the site above titled: The Battle of Okinawa in 3 minutes.” (Adobe Flash required)

Image of The Battle of Okinawa from Yahoo! Japan site


The image of June 23, 1945, from the Yahoo! Japan's Battle of Okinawa site

The site also has other audio/visual materials on the war damage in Japan during the WWII.

NHK (Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai) also has a special page, dedicated to the Battle of Okinawa. The site is written entirely in Japanese.

NHK Sensō Shōgen Ākaibuzu:  tokushū Okinawa-sen kuronikuru (NHK War Archives Special: the Battle of Okinawa Chronicle = NHK 戦争アーカイブズ:特集 沖縄戦クロニクル–その時何が起こったのか–)

The Yomitan Village in Okinawa created a page dedicated to a song whose lyrics tells the survivors’ sorrow for losing his family and wish for peace.

The title of the song is Kanpōnu Kuwēnukusā / 「艦砲ぬ喰ぇー残さー(かんぽうぬくぇーぬくさー)」.

June 19, 2017

Battle of Okinawa website by NHK

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

Nippoin Hōsō Kyōkai (NHK, Japan Broadcasting Corporation) has created an online exhibit of The Battle of Okinawa: since 1945.3.20-1945.6.23.


Warning from the Site: “The images and the photographs of human bodies will be shown to tell the reality of war.”

Image of the NHK's site titled the Battle of Okinawa

The site is written in both English and Japanese. Unfortunately, GAMA 360° worked only in the Japanese version of the page.

NHK also aired a documentary titled “Compassion in the War Zone” (Senju no Chimugukuru / 戦場の真心 チムグクル:沖縄を救った日系人) on August 22, 2015.

The documentary features on the 100th Infantry Battalion veteran, Thomas “Taro” Higa who was the 2nd generation Okinawan from Hawai’i.

The Hawaii Nisei Projet at the University of Hawai’i has some information about Higa and his effort to rescue the civilians from the caves during the Battle of Okinawa.

Image of the site "The Hawai'i Nisei Story"

“Only one [other MIS man who spoke the Okinawan dialect], Taro Higa. Taro Higa is the original 100th Infantry member, he fought in Italy with the 100th. And after VE-Day, he came home to be discharged. But seeing that how civilians suffered in the European war, instead of getting discharged, he requested transfer to Okinawa. Go to Okinawa instead of getting discharged.”

June 13, 2017

Web Histreet: Okinawa City Postwar Data Digital Archive

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

The Okinawa City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, launched a website called Web Histreet, Okinawa City’s Postwar Data Digital Archive.

Top page of the Okinawa City's Web Histreet

“After the end of World War II, Okinawa City created an extremely unique culture, while being supported by various kinds of energy derived from military bases and coming in contact with different cultures. This website is a digital archive titled “Web Histreet”. Okinawa City has collected various postwar materials and displayed them at its postwar cultural history materials museum “Histreet.” “Web Histreet” has been created so that many people will be able to browse these materials over the Internet.”


The site provide us with rich information on Koza (コザ) and the history of Okinawa City after the WWII and the US occupation.

Here is a newspaper article on the Web Histreet.

Establishment of Web Histreet: search postwar Okinawa history articles via a website

T&CT, & Ashimine, Chelsea, trans. Establishment of Web Histreet: search postwar Okinawa history articles via a website. (2017, April 12). The Ryukyu Shimpo. Retrieved from

The original article in Japanese can be found here.

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