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。

May 14, 2019

Animation of Kunkunshi: Library Video Shorts

Filed under: news — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 3:00 PM

The University of Hawaiʻi News (May 13, 2019)

“Award-winning student lenses focus on rare Hamilton Library collections”

“Hamilton Library at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is home to a multitude of rare books, archival materials and special collections that attract researchers from around the world. So what better way to acquaint UH Mānoa students with these unique and valuable resources than to invite them to make videos about their favorite collections?”

Source: https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2019/05/13/manoa-library-student-video-contest/

The winning videos

The $500 first prize went to “MAGIS: A True Treasure” by Jonas Gutzat, Yudai Kojima and Jacob Hensley, whose video conveyed the restoration of historic maps after a 2004 flood devastated the basement of Hamilton Library.

Second prize of $200 was won by Sophia Whalen for “Kajadifu,” which incorporated the Academy for Creative Media major’s whimsical animation to highlight Hamilton Library’s Okinawan Collection.

The $100 third prize went to the team of Dezmond Applin, Keahi Delovio and Nicole Huber, who featured UH’s connection with famed late artist Jean Charlot.

All videos who participated in the competition are available at https://manoa.hawaii.edu/library/about/news/library-treasures/video-shorts/all-shorts/.

May 2, 2019

Manga: the University of the Ryukyus Story

Filed under: news,resources — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 1:00 PM

The University of the Ryukyus has published a comic book titled, Manga: The University of the Ryukyus Story / 『琉大創立物語 』.

Manga University of the Ryukyus Story

Image source: http://www.u-ryukyu.ac.jp/news/4761/

The manga (comic book) has a web version.


On page 8, the manga tells that the people in Hawai’i financially assisted the creation of the University of the Ryukyus, by collecting donations with the phrase “Please Kokua Okinawa” (please help Okinawa). Those people in Okinawa were the members of Okinawa Kyūsai Kōseikai (沖縄救済厚生会). Among the members, according to the comic book, Wakukawa Seiei (湧川清栄) who at the time lived in Hawai’i but from Nakijin, Okinawa, was the leader. Wakukawa published a newspaper titled Kōsei Okinawa (厚生沖縄).

The University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Library owns a few issues of Kōsei Okinawa.

Title: Kosei Okinawa = Reborn Okinawa.
Publisher: Honolulu, T.H. [Territory of Hawaii] : The Okinawa Relief & Rehabilitation Foundation, 1947-1948.
Description: 2 volumes : illustrations ; 58 cm.
Vol. 1, no. 1 (Nov. 1947)-v. 2, no. 4 (Oct. 1948).

Current Location: UH Mānoa: Hamilton Hawaiian [Collection] Double Folio – Library Use Only

Kosei Okinawa

Kosei Okinawa Japanese

The comic book also mentions the role the Michigan State University.

A list of resources with regard to the Michigan State University’s involvement in founding the University of the Ryukyus:

  • Koikari, Mire. (2015). “Cultivaging Feminine Affinity: Women, Domesticity, and Cold War Transnationality in the US Military Occupation of Okinawa.” Journal of Women’s History, v. 27, n. 4 (Winter 2015), 112-136.
  • Ogawa, Tadashi. (2012). Sengo Beikoku no Okinawa bunka senryaku : Ryūkyū Daigaku to Mishigan misshon = 『戦後米国の沖縄文化戦略: 琉球大学とミシガン・ミッション』, Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2012.
  • 琉球大学開学40周年記念誌編集専門委員会編、『琉球 大学 四十年』(沖縄県: 琉球大学、1990年。
  • 琉球大学、『十周年記念誌』([沖縄県]: 琉球大学、1961年)。

April 22, 2019

Drawings of Sappō Ceremony on Okinawa TV

Filed under: news — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 1:00 AM

The Okinawa Television Broadcasting Co. aired some portion of the Drawings of Sappō/Sakuhō Ceremony for Ryukyu King [琉球国王冊封之図] on TV. The item used in the news is a combined scroll of two drawings by Yamaguchi Suiō [山口水翁]. One drawing is titled as the Drawings of Sappō/Sakuhō Ceremony for Ryukyu King [琉球国王冊封之図], and the other is titled as the Drawings of World Ship Ensigns [蛮国渡海船旗之図].

HW758 Ryūkyū kokuō sakuhō no zu



HW758 Ryūkyū kokuō sakuhō no zu page 2

HW758 Ryūkyū kokuō sakuhō no zu/Bankoku tokai senki no zu page 6

The image will be used during the news on April 23, 2019 from 6:14 PM (Japan Time).

The TV program name: OTV LiveNews It!

*The air time and date might change.

April 1, 2019

April First 1945 in Okinawa

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

Most people think of April 1st as “April Fool’s Day.” In Okinawa, April First is associated with and remembered as the day that Okinawa was invaded by the U.S. ground troops.

 Okinawa Marine Cave Demolition

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:OkinawaMarineCaveDemolition.jpg

“This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.”

According to Encyclopædia Britannica ACADEMIA, an online encyclopedia, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Library subscribes to,

“Over the final days of March, American underwater demolition teams and minesweepers cleared obstacles from the landing beaches. Under the overall leadership of theatre commander Adm. Chester Nimitz, Fifth Fleet commander Adm. Raymond Spruance would oversee the landings and U.S. ground troops would be commanded by Lieut. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr. The invasion was launched on April 1, 1945, when a contingent of U.S. ground troops landed at Hagushi, on the west coast of central Okinawa. Before nightfall, some 50,000 men of the U.S. 10th Army, under the command of Buckner, had gone ashore and established a beachhead about 5 miles (8 km) long.”

Britannica Academic, s.v. “Battle of Okinawa,” accessed April 1, 2019, https://academic.eb.com/levels/collegiate/article/Battle-of-Okinawa/631143.

Ted Tsukiyama, Nisei soldier from Hawai’i wrote,

The April 1st [1945] invasion was preceded by 7 days of “softening up” artillery fire of 13,000 rounds by U.S. Navy guns and 3,095 sorties by carrier planes from Task Force 58 at the proposed landing sites at Hagushi and Chatan beaches.

Source: http://nisei.hawaii.edu/object/io_1149316185200.html

The Battle of Okinawa related resources and information: https://guides.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/okinawa/peace_learning

March 14, 2019

New Area in the Shurijо̄ Castle Park Opens

Filed under: news — okinawacollection @ 2:00 PM

The Shurijо̄ Park in Okinawa announced that it will open a new area which has not been open to the public. The new area will be open in February 2019.

Shurijo Castle Park New Area

“Parts of the Shurijo [sic] Castle grounds which include the Seiden in Shurijo Castle Park have been open to the public since 1992. The long-awaited opening of Ouchibara and other ‘inner world of Shurijo will take place for the first time on February 1, 2019! We hope you will take this opportunity to visit Shurijo Castle to feel the history of Ryukyu and Okinawa.”

Source (in PDF): http://oki-park.jp/userfiles/files/pdf/shurijo/new-area_en.pdf

The same information in Japanese is available at http://oki-park.jp/shurijo/information/detail/4380


The Asahi Shimbun Digital Edition explains the new area with some photographs. (In Japanese only).

  • 萩原さちこ、「ついに公開! ディープな世界「御内原」とは? 首里城(1)」、朝日新聞DIGITAL、2019年3月4日。https://www.asahi.com/and_travel/20190304/24958/
  • 萩原さちこ、「琉球王朝の文化を反映する、正殿の外壁塗装とデザイン 首里城(2)」、朝日新聞DIGITAL、2019年3月11日。https://www.asahi.com/and_travel/20190311/56161/
  • 上里隆史、『尚氏と首里城』、吉川弘文館、2016年。Call Number: Hamilton EAST DS895.R97 U358 2016
  • Loo, Tze May. Heritage politics: Shuri Castle and Okinawa’s incorporation into modern Japan, 1879-2000 (Lexington Books, 2014). Call Number: Hamilton ASIA DS897.N329 L66 2014 (Also available as eBook)
  • 沖縄県立埋蔵文化財センター編集、『中城御殿跡』、沖縄県立埋蔵文化財センター、2010年。 Call Number: IN CATALOGING JPN 4010885 (You can request this item by clicking Get This Item button)

February 22, 2019

Kumiodori 300th Anniversary

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

To celebrate the 300th anniversary of kumiudui (or kumuodori in standard Japanese) in Okinawa, a special Ryukyuan dance will be performed at Kyoto Art Theater Shunūza studio 21 on February 23, 2019.

300th anniversary of kumiudui

Kumiodori 300th Anniversary
Ryukyuan Dance and Kumiodori at Shunjuza

  • 23 February 2019, Saturday
  • Kyoto Art Theater Shunjuza
  • From 2 PM; Theater opens 1:30PM
  • With [Buyō] Miyagi Noho, [Uta/Sanshin] Nishie Kishun, [Taiko] Higa Satoshi and others

Presented by Kyoto Performing Arts Center at Kyoto University of Art and Design, and National Theater Okinawa
Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan, and Okinawa Prefecture



  • 第一部 琉球舞踊
  • 第二部 組踊「孝行の巻」

Video clip from Kyoto Art Theater, published on Apr 25, 2016.

About kumiudui/kumiodori/組踊

“Kumiodori was created by the Dance Magistrate Tamagusuku Chokun (1684-1734) and was first performed in order for Sho Kei, the thirteenth king of the second Sho dynasty, to entertain the sappōshi[冊封使] in 1719.

Chokun wrote Shushin-kaneiri, Nido-tekiuchi, Mekarushi, Onna-monogurui and koko−no-maki, which are called the five works of Chokun.
The impression formed on the sapposhi who were watching kumiodori for the first time was deep, and, following that occasion, kumiodori became the centre around which dance programmes were organized as coronation performing arts. Such programmes were the ones to be staged on the occasion of a new king receiving investiture, so their contents had to be worthy of the occasion. Kumiodori, the main element of the programme, was something of which Ryukyu was proud, and thus it came to be designated the national drama.”

Source: http://kumiodori.jp/E-kumiodori/index.html, last accessed on February 21, 2019.

UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage site explains kumiodori as follows:

“Kumiodori is a Japanese performing art found on the Okinawa islands. It is based upon traditional Okinawan music and dance, but also incorporates elements from mainland Japan, such as Nogaku or Kabuki, as well as from China. Kumiodori dramas recount local historical events or legends, accompanied by a traditional three-stringed instrument. The phrases have a particular rhythm, based upon traditional poetry and the distinctive intonation of the Ryukyu scale, and are performed in the ancient language of Okinawa. The physical movements of the performers evoke those of a pythoness at traditional rituals of ancient Okinawa. All parts are performed by male actors, and techniques unique to Okinawa can be seen in the methods of hair-dressing, costumes and decorations used on stage. The need to strengthen transmission motivated Kumiodori performers to establish the Traditional Kumiodori Preservation Society, which trains performers, revives discontinued dramas, and carries out performances on a regular basis. In addition to classical works that emphasize themes of loyalty and filial duty, new dramas have been produced with modern themes and choreography, but retaining the traditional Kumiodori style. Kumiodori plays a central role in preserving ancient Okinawan vocabulary as well as transmitting literature, performing arts, history and ethics.”

Source: “Kumiodori, traditional Okinawan musical theatre: Inscribed in 2010 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity,” at https://ich.unesco.org/en/RL/kumiodori-traditional-okinawan-musical-theatre-00405, accessed on Feb 21, 2019.


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

July 23, 2018

Jane Serikaku Passes Away

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

Ms. Jane Serikaku, former Hawaii United Okinawa Association’s (HUOA) Director, passed away on July 6, 2018. She was 79 years old.

Jane Serikaku former HUOA Director

HUOA announced Jane’s passing as follows:

Jane Fujie Serikaku, executive director of the Hawaii United Okinawa Association
(HUOA) and retired educator, passed away peacefully on July 6, 2018, surrounded by close family and friends. She was 79 years old. A longtime leader in the Okinawan community, Serikaku was the HUOA’s first female president in 1993-1994. She was born on Maui, attended Maui High School and the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa where she graduated with a degree in education and also obtained a master’s degree in educational administration. Serikaku received the prestigious Milken Educator Award in 1998 while principal at Iliahi Elementary School for her exemplary work in collaborating with teachers, parents, and students and also establishing a free preschool. She retired after 30 years as an educator and was appointed the executive director of the HUOA in 2006. Always a staunch supporter of education, she believed that the future of HUOA is dependent upon the youth and helped coordinate the Hawaii-Okinawa High School Student Exchange program for over 25 years. She also initiated the HUOA Leadership Study Tour giving young Okinawans from Hawaii an opportunity to visit their ancestral homeland and learn about Okinawan culture. Serikaku was a second generation (Nisei) Okinawan with ancestral ties to Nakagusuku Village. She was designated as a new “Uchina Goodwill Ambassador” by the Okinawa Prefectural Government in 2006.

The Okinawa Times also published an obituary of Ms. Jane Serikaku.

「勢理客ジェーンさん死去/79歳 ハワイ連合会元会長」、沖縄タイムス、2018年7月8日。/ July 8, 2018, “Jane Serikaku, Former Hawaii United Okinawan Association Director, Dies at the age 79,” The Okinawa Times. (in Japanese)

[大弦小弦]目尻を下げた満面の笑みが脳裏に焼き付いている…」、沖縄タイムス、2018年7月14日。/  July 14, 2018, “Jane’s smiles are burnt in my mind,” The Okinawa Times (in Japanese).

Service will be held on Thursday, August 9, 2018, at the Hawaii Okinawa Center.
Visitation begins at 4:00 p.m. with a memorial service at 6:00 p.m. (Hawaii Time)

For more information about the memorial service, please contact Hawaii Okinawa Center at (808) 676-5400 or email to info@huoa.org.


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: http://www.kamejiro.ayapro.ne.jp/

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, https://doi.org/10.1017/S0026749X03002099. (To access the article, you need to have a UH ID and password).

The film is currently available only in Japan.

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