Mourning For Rina Shimabukuro

Kakeru Miyagi praying for the soul of his former classmate, Rina Shimabukuro  Source

Kakeru Miyagi praying for the soul of his former classmate, Rina Shimabukuro Source

Americans Show Solidarity With Okinawa

We are grieving with Okinawa.

We are grieving with Okinawa. Source

The recent brutal murder of Rina Shimabukuro in April 2016 sparked widespread outrage and sadness in Okinawa, Japan, and the US.  In memory of Rina Shimabukuro people all over have gathered for prayer and to express solidarity for peace.  Americans have been outraged as well by the loss of a beautiful life.

Americans apologize

Americans apologize  Source

Americans showing solidarity

Americans showing solidarity  Source

This recent killing seems to be part of a larger pattern stemming from the heavy military presence on Okinawa island.  The recent article by UPI noted:

Despite constituting 0.6 percent of Japanese territory, Okinawa has 74 percent of U.S. military facilities in Japan. U.S. forces first occupied the island in 1945 and it remained a U.S. base until 1972 when it was returned to Japan. [Emphases added]

WUB Hawaii together with the East-West Center is planning a symposium (Uchinanchu Talk Story VI) on the US military bases in Okinawa in July 2016.  For more details please check the page “UTS VI which will post the latest information available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prof. Dennis Ogawa Honored

Prof. Dennis Ogawa

Prof. Dennis Ogawa wearing the Order of the Rising Sun

Prof. Dennis M. Ogawa, long time WUB Hawaii member, was recently awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan.  The ceremony took place at the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu.

The medal was bestowed on Prof. Ogawa in recognition of his contribution to the development of Japanese studies in the US and his promotion of mutual understanding between Japan and the US.

For a more detailed article, please visit our new WUB website.

 

May 18 – Begin Concert at Waikiki Shell

Screen shot 2014-05-15 at 1.38.53 PM

LINKliuchiuan.com

 

Begin (ビギン) is a popular Japanese three-man pop group from Ishigaki Island (石垣島), Okinawa, Japan. Their sound contains many elements of traditional Okinawan folk music, and prominently features the sanshin, an Okinawan three-stringed banjo. Perhaps their most famous song is Nada Sousou. Begin has had at least one song appear on the NHK program Minna no Uta.  Source:  Jpopasia.com 

 

 

Okinawa Toyota Commercials

Okinawa Toyota Commercial.  To view: click here.

Okinawa Toyota Commercial — ‘Gosamaru‘ driving. To view: click here.

The blog “A Man With Tea” recently posted “Okinawa Toyota Ads.”  Apparently, Toyota Motor Corporation has come out with four TV commercials featuring Okinawan historical figures like: Shô Hashi, Amawari, Gosamaru, and Momoto Fumiagari.

What this means for Okinawan identity in the twenty first century is not yet clear.  Is it empowering for Okinawan identity or is it a distortion?  Is it exploitative or is it affirmative?  What do you think?