November 1, 2019

Kokoro Odoru Premiere at HIFF

Filed under: events — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 3:30 PM

A film titled Okinawan Blue (Kokoro Odoru) will be premiered at the 2019 Hawai’i International Film Festival (HIFF)!

According to the HIFF site, the film is “[s]et in the quaint, picturesque island of Zamami, OKINAWAN BLUE explores what the island life means to its visitors and residents, weaving three strands of stories together into a sweet and moving omnibus film…Loosely tying these narratives together are characters that move in and out of the stories, especially the innkeeper of the Full Moon Hotel and her assistant, Yuhi, played by renowned Okinawan actor Shogen. Funny, quirky, and moving, OKINAWAN BLUE captures the breathtaking beauty and uniqueness of the region and its people.”


Okinawan Blue trailer:

The 39th Annual Hawai’i International Film Festival (2019)

O’ahu: November 7-19, 2019

Big Island (Hawai’i Island), Kaua’i, Maui: November 21-24, 2019

June 26, 2019

Our Island’s Treasure Public Screening

Filed under: events — Tags: , , — okinawacollection @ 11:30 AM

Hawai’i Film Premier & Community Talk Event

Documentary Film: Our Island’s Treasure (=私達の島の宝)

Our Island's Treasure Film Public Screening Flyer

“Henoko, Okinawa is the location of one of the most bio-diverse ocean regions on the planet – Oura Bay. It is also the cite where the Japanese and U.S. governments intend to build a new U.S. Marine Corps base, despite the democratic opposition of Okinawans. The ongoing landfill work to create this base has created a crisis that is destroying thousand year old coral reef structures, and threatens the aquatic life in the bay, including 5300 species and 262 endangered species whose habitat will be destroyed with this base construction.

One of these animals is the dugong – a marine mammal that is traditionally thought of by Okinawans as sacred “Messengers of Peace.” This “cousin” to the manatee is currently listed as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and is entitled to protections under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Here, at one of the last refuges for the endangered dugong, Okinawan people have held continuous sit-ins to block construction trucks for almost 2000 days, led mostly by elderly war survivors determined to protect the island and ocean.

Following the screening, Kaiya will join us in a short community talk via live video conference call. Light Refreshments will be provided.”

ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: 17-year old Okinawan-American Kaiya Yonamine is a high school student and Nisei (2nd generation) Uchinaanchu from Portland, Oregon who was frustrated with the silence of the media around this crisis in Okinawa. So, she returned to Henoko this past spring to make a documentary film exploring what is happening in Okinawa now, appealing to her youth peers and the world. Mother and daughter team, Moe and Kaiya Yonamine, made and sold thousands of cookies and paper cranes to raise funds to pay for travel expenses so Kaiya could return to Henoko to support their elders and document this 22-year struggle to protect the island and our oceans.

For more info: Please email or call 808-782-0023

Related site:

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:

Born Bone Born from HIFF on Vimeo.

The trailer:

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.

August 1, 2018

Film: Okinawa 1965

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

A Japanese film titled Okinawa 1965 was released in 2017. The homepage of the film describes that there are 3 keywords for this documentary: (1) the march for the reversion of Okinawa to Japan, (2) Awagon Shōkō’s (阿波根昌鴻) non-violent peace movement, (3) a former US Marine Allen Nelson’s “Okinawa doesn’t need US bases.”

*Caveat: The trailer on the above site has some disturbing image of a young girl killed by the military vehicle.  

Closed caption is available in Japanese by clicking CC on the landing page.

Todori, Shin’ya, & Todori Takuya; Sano Tōru, ed. (2018). Okinawa 1965. (Tokyo: Nanatsumori Shokan).

Book Cover of Okinawa 1965

Image source:

Related resources:

June 1, 2018

Japanese Film about Senaga Kamejirō

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

A film titled “The man the United States feared most: Kamejirō” was released in Japan.

Title (rough translation): The Man the United States Feared the Most: (Senaga) Kamejirō” [= 米軍(アメリカ)が最も恐れた男:その名は、カメジロー」

The film’s Official Site:

The site explains the life and beliefs of Senaga (瀬長) Kamejirō (亀次郎), who was born in 1907 in Tomigusuku, Okinawa and died in 2001. An article titled “Achieving Reversion: Protest and Authority in Okinawa, 1952-70” by Christopher Aldous (2003) explains why the US Government feared Kamejiō. Aldous writes,

The 1950s were a decade of harsh military rule in Okinawa, a period in which an embryonic reversion movement was quickly suppressed, when villages were levelled by bulldozers to make way for US military facilities, and, most revealingly, when a democratically elected mayor, Senaga Kamejiro, with radical left-wing credentials, was forced out of office by the American authorities. In short, it was a time of political polarization, caused above all by arbitrary, oppressive military rule.

Christopher Aldous, “Achieving Reversion: Protest and Authority in Okinawa, 1952-70,” Modern Asian Studies 37, no. 2 (May 2003): 485-508, (To access the article, you need to have a UH ID and password).

The film is currently available only in Japan.

April 6, 2018

Film: A Diplomat and Okinawa Reversion

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

A new Japanese film titled Henkan Kōshōnin [返還交渉人] will be released in the theater in Japan. The movie is about a Japanese diplomat named CHIBA Kazuo [千葉一夫], who played a critical role in the negotiation of Okinawa’s reversion to Japan.

Henkan Koshonin

[Image source:]

There are some books on Chiba Kazuo. The Library has a copy of the following title.

A sample of the book review is available from Tokyo Shinbun’s online version, Tokyo Web.

[S.n.]. (2017, December 3). Shohyō Boku wa Okinawa o toromodoshitai : ishoku no gaikōkan Chiba Kazuo. Tokyo Shinbun Tokyo WEb. Retrieved from

August 29, 2017

Uchinanchu diaspora: a film of Okinawans in New Caledonia

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

A film titled Mabuigumi: Nyu Karedonia hikisakareta iminshi (roughly translated as “Torn souls: a history of Okinawan immigrants in New Caledonia) was released in Okinawa, Japan.

The film traces an Okinawans who left for New Caledonia in 1904. They worked as miners, and when the Pearl Harbor attach occurred in 1941, Okinawans were arrested, and men were sent to Australia as POWs. After the end of WWII, those men were sent back to Okinawa, and their families were left in New Caledonia.

The film is only available in Japanese, but the production company has a website that provides some information about the film and the background of the story behind the film.

The film has Japanese subtitles (no English subtitles).


The UHM Library plans to acquire resources on the Okinawa immigrants to New Caledonia.

June 26, 2017

Maeda Kochi in the film Hacksaw Ridge

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

The film titled Hacksaw Ridge (ハクソー・リッジ) has been released in Japan in June, 2017. According to IMDb, the film tells a story about a US medic named “Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.” The place in Okinawa depicted in this film is Hacksaw Ridge, which is Maeda Kōchi (前田高地), Urasoe City, Okinawa.

Maeda Kochi in Urase City, Okinawa, shown in Google Maps

[Map source: Google Maps,]

Film poster titled Hacksaw Ridge

Urasoe City created a webpage which explains the Hacksaw Ridge as a place where both civilians and soldiers were killed and wounded.

map of the war victims at the Hacksaw Ridge, Urasoe City, Okinawa

The number in blue shows survivors, and the one in red is deceased.

[Image source:]

A newspaper The Guardian has an article on the film and the main character, Desmond Doss.

Graham-Harrison, Emma. (February 4, 2017). On the real Hacksaw Ridge, a voice is heard: beware the fake glamour of war. The Guardian. Retrieved from

March 28, 2017

Okinawa: The afterburn Public Film Screening at UH Manoa

Filed under: events — Tags: , , — okinawacollection @ 8:45 AM

Mark Your Calendar! Okinawa: The afterburn (Urizun no ame / うりずんの雨) comes to the UH Mānoa Campus on Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Center for Okinawan Studies, Ethnic Studies Program, Pacific –Asian Legal Studies Program, & William S. Richardson School of Law (all at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa) are pleased to present the public film screening of “Okinawa: The afterburn,” with the Director, John Junkerman.

  • Date: Sunday, April 9, 2017
  • Time: 1 – 4 PM (English version of film screening, followed by the discussion with Director, John Junkerman)
    • The film’s running time is approximately 2 hours.
  • Location: Shidler College of Business*, Room A-101 (The building has a sign, “TOWER A [2404 Maile Way, Honolulu, HI 96822]
  • Film Language: English
  • Admission: Free
  • Parking: Free on Sundays on campus

ADA parking map on UH Manoa Campus

Click the map above to see a larger map.  A101 classroom is on C1 on the map above.

  • Contact: The Center for Okinawan Studies at 808-956-5754 or


For those who cannot attend the screening, both Japanese and English versions of the film are available at the Sinclair Library to watch at your own convenience.  The UH Mānoa community members are welcome to check DVDs out. Please read the procedures to check out here. (22. Wong Audiovisual Center).

  • Okinawa urizun no ame / kantoku Jan [sic] Yunkāman = Okinawa: the afterburn (沖縄うりずんの雨 / 監督 ジャン[sic]·ユンカーマン = Okinawa: the afterburn)
  • Okinawa : the afterburn / a film by John Junkerman. (English version)

An Interview with Director by Jon Letman about film screening in Hawai’i

“Okinawa Documentary Portrays The Legacy Of War” (published on April 5, 2017)

What does “Urizun / うりずん” mean? 

According to the film’s official site, “Urizun no Ame,” meaning, “the rains of early spring.” The film’s Japanese version of the site explains, “「うりずん」とは潤い初め(うるおいぞめ)が語源とされ、冬が終わって大地が潤い、草木が芽吹く3月頃から、沖縄が梅雨に入る5月くらいまでの時期を指す言葉.” Roughly translating, “Urizun is believed to originate from the word, “starting to moisten.” After the winter, the land becomes moistened, and the buds come out on the trees. In Okinawa, ‘urizun” is a period between March and May till the rainy season arrives.”

The progress of the Battle of Okinawa [Source: Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum]

For more information, please read the older blog post here.

Larger flyer in PDF is available here: 2017 – COS Lecture (John Junkerman)

March 21, 2017

Free Public Screening of the film Okinawa: The afterburnin the island of Kaua’i

Filed under: events — Tags: , , , — okinawacollection @ 12:00 PM

Okinawa: The afterbun by Director John Junkerman comes to Hawai’i

Saturday, April 8, 2017, John Junkerman, aOscar-nominated filmmaker, comes to Hawai’i to show his film, Okinawa: The afterburn. The film depicts the Battle of Okinawa, the conditions of postwar Okinawa under the US government, and the life after Okinawa’s reversion to Japan.

Here is the details of the film screening in Kaua’i.

  • Date: Saturday, April 8, 2017
  • Time: 7 pm – 10 pm
  • Location: Keālia Farm Market (across from north end of Keālia Beach, Kapa’a)
  • Language: English 
  • Admissions Fee: FREE

Flyer of Okinawa: The afterburn film screening in Kaua'i

Below is the list of the past screenings in the mainland US.

Base Dependency and Okinawa’s Prospects: Behind the Myths: a conversation with Maedomari Hiromori, Professor of Economics and Environmental Policy at Okinawa International University with John Junkerman, Film Director. The Asia-Pacific Journal, November 15, 2016 (Volume 15, Issue 22).

PDF is available here.

About the Director, John Junkerman:

“John Junkerman is an American documentary filmmaker, living in Tokyo. His first film, “Hellfire: A Journey from Hiroshima,” was a portrait of Japanese atomic-bomb artists Maruki Iri and Toshi. Coproduced with John W. Dower, the film was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Grand Prize at the San Francisco International Film Festival. This was followed by a Siglo production, “Uminchu: The Old Man and the East China Sea,” which portrayed the life of an 81 year-old marlin fisherman on a small Okinawan island. Junkerman directed the Emmy award-winning “Dream Window: Reflections on the Japanese Garden,” produced by the Smithsonian. He also produced and directed “The Mississippi: River of Song,” a four-part Smithsonian series for PBS about American roots music along the Mississippi, broadcast in 1999.”


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