Young Okinawans of Hawaii . . . by Jon Itomura

The sun shone bright as the smiling faces of our Uchinanchu seniors filled the Hawaii Okinawa Center on the morning of November 19 for the Young Okinawans of Hawaii’s (YOH) 19th annual Seniors Christmas Luncheon. The event was themed “Aya Modoru Nu Hana (Looking to the Future).” This year’s luncheon was held before Thanksgiving because of the Centennial Celebration closing banquet. That didn’t deter almost 600 seniors from attending the luncheon. Many of the special guests from the various Okinawan senior centers and performance groups arrived early in anticipation of YOH’s annual entertainment program, which featured many young performers.

Buses were dispatched to three locations around town to bring our special guests to Waipio in comfort. They were greeted at the Legacy Hall and served by “young” volunteers like HUOA President Albert Miyasato and President-elect Jimmy Iha, Yomitan Club president Linda Takushi and her crew, Tomigusku president Sandy Kaneshiro, the 2000 Cherry Blossom Court and many other HUOA and YOH members. The women of Hui O Laulima arrived early in the morning to drop batches of delicious andagi for our guests to munch on. They also displayed and made available their beautiful Okinawan cultural cookbook, “Okinawan Mixed Plate:: Generous Servings of Culture, Customs and Cuisine.”

The entertainment program was organized and coordinated by YOH members Francis Nakachi and Iris Hiramoto. The formal program opened with thoughtful remarks from Young Okinawans member Reverend Bruce Nakamura of the Jikoen Hongwanji Mission.

Students from the Tamagusuku Ryu Senju Kai - Furanshisu Nakachi Ryubu Dojo, Kaneshiro Kikue Ryubu Kenkyu Kai and the Nakasone Hooge Kai - Nakasone Yoshiko Ryubu Kenkyusho dance schools performed various dances. The YOH board of directors treated the guests to a comedic performance of the minyo (folk) dance, “Mamidoma.” Sanshin music was provided by the Afuso-ryu Gensei Kai and Miyashiro Soho Kai students performed koto.

Karate students of Alan Lee Sensei and Mitchel Shimamura Sensei displayed their skill and appreciation of Okinawan karate. Mitchel Shimamura’s twin daughters Carolyn and Marlene, exhibited their versatility by performing karate and later singing a beautiful rendition of “Chimuganasa Bushi.”

Lucky numbers were called by YOH member Tomomi Shimabukuro between the dance numbers. The prizes were delivered to the lucky winners by YOH members and the Cherry Blossom court. The party ended with some guests dancing kachashi for the first time and everyone leaving with a delicious loaf of holiday cinnamon bread from Larry’s Bakery.

We would like to acknowledge our many special contributors: Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Teruya, Tori Richards, Central Pacific Bank, Larry’s Wholesale Bakery, Kelly Nelson for Mary Kay Cosmetics, Ka Lei Eggs, First Hawaiian Bank, McDonald’s, Ala Moana Hotel, Territorial Savings, Kyo-Ya Restaurant, Flyin Hawaiian, Consolidated Amusements, Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, Star Market, Aloha Tofu, Okuhara Foods, Krazy Karaoke, Mr. and Mrs. George Tokuhama, Bobby Unten, StarCom Wireless, Anthony Akamine, Geno and Kathy Oshiro (Saimin House) and Mrs. Karen Yonamine.

Special thanks to Gary Honda, HUOA Administration Committee members, HUOA Executive Council, Yomitan Club, Tomigusku Sonjin Kai, Miyashiro Soho Kai, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Miyashiro, karate sensei Mitchel Shimamura and Alan Lee, Carolyn and Marlene Shimamura, Kaneshiro Kenkyu Kai, Nakasone Yoshiko Kenkyu Jyo, Tamagusuku Ryu Senju Kai, Afuso Ryu Gensei Kai - Hawaii Shibu, Ryukyu Kobudo Taiko, Junior Japanese Chamber of Commerce Cherry Blossom Court, Victor Yamashiroya and the entire YOH Board of Officers and YOH member volunteers for a job well done.


The YOH board of directors dance a comedic performance of the minyo (folk) dance, “Mamidoma.”

Maui Okinawa Kenjin Kai . . . by Alan Arakawa

The Maui Okinawa Kenjin Kai has scheduled its 23rd annual Maui State Okinawa Golf Tournament for Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 17 and 18, 2001, at the Waiehu Golf Course. Five flights of play are scheduled: the A and B flights, for which the cut-off will be determined by the number of entries; Senior Flight, which is open to golfers 60 and older; women’s flight; and a guest flight.

Prizes will be awarded for the closest to the hole #2 and for the closest to the hole #16. An awards banquet will be held at the Maui Okinawa Cultural Center at the conclusion of the tournament. Cocktails begin at 5:30 p.m., dinner is at 6.

The $90 entry fee covers green and cart fees and dinner; dinner for non-golfers is $15. Checks should be made payable to Maui Okinawa Kenjin Kai and mailed to Mike Hondo, P.O. Box 1884, Wailuku, HI 96793. Application forms are available from the Maui Okinawa Kenjin Kai, or at the HUOA office. Golfers must include their lowest handicap as of Jan. 1, 2001. The application deadline is Feb. 12.