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 naomimr@hawaii.edu or call 808-782-0023

Related site: https://www.riseforhenoko.com/

June 7, 2019

Our Island’s Treasure Video

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

A high school student in Oregon, who is an American with Okinawan ancestry, created a video concerning the environment in Henoko.

The creator, YONAMINE Kaiya, is 17-year old. She wrote:

My name is Kaiya, and I am a 17-year old Okinawan American high school student from Portland, Oregon. I recently went back to Henoko because I was frustrated with the silence of the media around this crisis. I wanted to make a documentary to show the world what’s happening. This is my documentary, “Our Island’s Treasure,” that focuses on the current destruction of the beautiful Okinawan ocean in Henoko and the fight by native Uchinanchu people to protect it. This is an emergency.


The Okinawa Times reported her effort on April 3, 2019.

“Kichimondai Okinawa to Bei [United States] tsunagu,” The Okinawa Times, April 3, 2019. / 「基地問題 沖縄と米つなぐ」、沖縄タイムス、2019年4月3日。

June 3, 2019

Tombs in Okinawa

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

Prof. Dana Masayuki (田名真之), currently the Director at the Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum, published an article on tombs in Okinawa in The World of Cultural Heritage (vol. 27, 2016).

The article has ruby (furigana) for some kanji, which often has different reading (pronunciation) in Okinawa. He classifies some tombs by classes. He also explains different shapes of tombs.  The most famous tomb in Okinawa is kāminakūbaka (亀甲墓), whose shape looks like a turtle’s shell/back is on top of the tomb.


Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtleback_tomb#/media/File:Okinawa_turtle_back_tomb.JPG, the image is in Public Domain.

If you are interested in tombs in Okinawa, UH Mānoa Library has some resources.

  • Ochi, Ikuno. (2018). Ugoku haka: Okinawa no toshi ijūsja to sosen saishi = The transformation of tombs in Okinawa. (Tokyo: Shinwasha).
  • Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum. (2015). Ryūkyūko no sōbosei : kaze to sango no tomurai: Heisei 27-nendo Okinawa Kenritsu Hakubutsukan Bijutsukan tokubetsuten = Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum special exhibition in 2015 : funeral ceremony and grave tradition of Ryukyu Islands : a memorial service held by wind and coral circumstances (Naha-shi: Okinawa Kenritsu Hakubutsukan Bijutsukan).
  • Kato, Masaharu. (2010). Amami Okinawa no kasō to sōbosei: hen’yō to jizoku (Ginowan-shi:  Yōju Shorin).


Dana, Masayuki. (2016). “Okinawa no haka ni tsuite = 「沖縄の墓について」in The World of Cultural Heritage (『文化遺産の世界』), Vol. 27.

Some images of turtleback tombs from ARTSTOR can be accessible from UH Mānoa Libraryʻs OAPC. UH Mānoa ID and password are required.

(Image: May, 2010). Turtleback Tombs (Kameko-baka), Exterior. [architecture]. Retrieved from https://library.artstor.org/asset/ACOLUMBIAARTIG_10313270371