50th ANNIVERSARY QUESTIONS

Limited space in last month’s HUOA 50th anniversary special edition prevented the publication of these comments by the presidents or representatives of some HUOA member clubs. We hope you enjoy reading them.

WHY AM I PROUD TO BE UCHINANCHU?

“The Okinawan Festival.” — Masa Shiroma, nisei, Gaza Yonagusuku Doshi Kai

“Because we are strong in spirit and have a unique and diverse culture.” — Sean Shimabukuro, sansei, Ginoza Sonjin Kai

“Because Uchinanchu are unselfish and sacrificed their lives for the good of others.” — Keith Kaneshiro, sansei, Aza Gushikawa Doshi Kai, Kochinda Chojin Kai, Hui MakaalaMaui Okinawa Kenjin Kai members making andagi.

“Unity.” — Kenneth Mijo, sansei, Katsuren Chojin Kai

“What else can I be.” — Douglas Miyasato, nisei, Aza Yogi Doshi Kai

“Tradition and ability to work together.” — Terry T. Taira, sansei, Yonabaru Chojin Kai

I am proud to be Uchinanchu because I am extremely proud of the legacy and achievements that my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents have attained.” — Holly Takara, yonsei, Oroku Azajin Club

“I can share my hairiness with others who do not have any and with people who have hair from head to toe.” — John Tasato, nisei, Ginowan Shijin Kai

“The HUOA has made me proud to be an Uchinanchu because of the high visibility HUOA has had and the positive image it has generated.” — Takashi Tsuhako, nisei, Tamagusuku Club

“Being surrounded by other proud Uchinanchus.” — Gainor Miyashiro, sansei, Yonashiro Chojin Kai

“Uchinanchu are hard workers and dependable.” — Jay Nakandakare, sansei, Ishikawa Shijinkai

“I am proud to be a descendant of Okinawans because of their kindness, warmth and generous spirit.” — Carolyn Oki, sansei, Hui Okinawa

“We are nice and supportive of family and friends.” — Dorothy Shiroma Hoe, nisei, Nishihara Chojin Kai, Gaza Yonagusuku Doshi Kai, Hui O Laulima

“Uchinanchu and Uchinanchu-at-heart always take the time and energy to pull together and get the job done.” — Sandy Kaneshiro, sansei, Tomigusuku Sonjin Kai, Aza Gushikawa Doshi Kai

“Parents have taught us to be proud of our heritage.” — David Kobashigawa, sansei, Aza Gushikawa Doshi Kai

“For all the contributions made to humankind.” — Thomas Ikehara, nisei, Bito Doshi Kai

WHAT UCHINANCHU EVENT STANDS OUT THE MOST IN YOUR MIND?

“The HUOA Festival is awesome and a true demonstration of the Uchinanchu Spirit — everyone working together and enjoying fellowship.” — Jane Serikaku, nisei, Minami Nakagusuku

Goodwill Ambassadors Ken Kiyabu and Mamo Kaneshiro at the Okinawa Convention Center.“Fundraiser for Hawaii Okinawa Center.” — Masa Shiroma

“The year-long Okinawan Centennial Celebration.” — Sean Shimabukuro

“Third Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival held in Okinawa in November 2001.” — Keith Kaneshiro

“‘An Evening in Waipio’ was the first HUOA event I had the honor of co-chairing. I’m appreciative of the energy of the many volunteers that came out, even for a workday evening.” — William Akamine, sansei, Haebaru Club

“HOC and its opening!” — Kenneth Mijo

“Okinawan Festival, holding tent, Wayne Miyahira and myself — same time, same place, every year.” — Rodney Kohagura, sansei, Ginowan Shijin Kai

“Installation banquets.” — Douglas Miyasato

“Opening ceremony of the 100th anniversary.” — Terry T. Taira

“Shinnen enkais, family get-togethers.” — Ron Miyasato, nisei, Aza Yogi Doshi Kai

A scene from the "Rainbows" opening program.“Our annual Okinawan Festival at Kapiolani Park where all Uchinanchus and Uchinanchus-at-heart greet each other with ‘Chaganju . . .’ and ‘Haisai!’” — John Tasato

“100th anniversary program held in January 2000, ‘Nuuzi Kakiyabira.’” — Takashi Tsuhako

“Being part of the HUOA Taikai tour. People of Okinawa embraced and welcomed us as relatives.” —Gainor Miyashiro

“When I was a child, my Baban used to take us to their annual Oroku picnic at Ala Moana Park. My Baban was so happy to be with her friends from Okinawa. She was looking forward to be honored someday.” — Carolyn Oki

“The annual festival.” — Dorothy Shiroma Hoe

“The 75th anniversary celebration in 1975. I participated with Nakasone Yoshiko Sensei’s dance troupe at Farrington High School. It made me proud to have had the opportunity to dance when not too many people were interested in the Okinawan culture at that time.” — Sandy Kaneshiro

“The yearly festival.” — David Kobashigawa

“The 2000 festival.” — Thomas Ikehara

WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT THE ISSEI?

“Hard work, perseverance, time to party.” — Jane Serikaku

“Work, work, work.” — Masa Shiroma

“Their strength and sense of perseverance, which made it possible for succeeding generations to enjoy the lives we have today.” — Sean Shimabukuro

“They were hard workers who dedicated their lives to make life easier for the next generation.” — Keith Kaneshiro

“Everything.” — Kenneth Mijo

“Hard work — no complaints; endurance, survivors.” — Rodney Kohagura

“Hard workers.” — Douglas Miyasato

“The sacrifices they made to make a better life for the coming generation.” — Terry T. Taira

“Hard-working and sacrificing.” — Jay Nakandakare

“They had guts, were highly motivated, worked very hard and of high principles.” — Ken Kiyabu, sansei, Yagaji Doshi Kai

“An Uchinanchu smile that says, ‘Mensore Uchigumi Sore.’” — John Tasato

The fifth generation of the Yonashiro Chojin Kai.  Eunice Hirata (left) and Gainor Miyashiro (right) with sisters Sarah, Shayne, Sydney and Summer Tsukenjo.“Although they didn’t speak much English, we still were able to talk to them, and we all got together regularly with the whole family.” — June Uyeunten Nakama, yonsei, Club Motobu

“The hard life they had working on the plantations.” — Takashi Tsuhako

“Vision to keep Uchinanchus united and strong.” — Gainor Miyashiro

“My mother’s last days which I spent before her passing. One of her last wishes was for me to get more involved with the clubs and maintain our roots to Okinawa.” — Jay Nakandakare

“They were so brave to immigrate and become pioneers in a strange land; to better themselves for a better future for the next generation.” — Carolyn Oki

“They toiled the very soil we walk on.” — Dorothy Shiroma Hoe

“My grandparents worked extremely hard and yet raised all of their children to become great people with good hearts.” — Sandy Kaneshiro

“They were hard-working people.” — David Kobashigawa

“How much they suffered and sacrificed for their children.” — Thomas Ikehara

“The issei had the courage to start a new life in Hawaii. Through their effort we have learned about our homeland and love who we are.” — Linda Takushi, sansei, Yomitan Club

“My grandmother’s hands. She was always trying to hide her hands.” — Karen Kuba-Hori, sansei, Okinawa City-Goeku Sonjin Kai

WHAT MAKES AN UCHINANCHU?

“Big heart.” — Masa Shiroma

“Uchinanchu spirit, Uchinanchu heart and Uchinanchu values.” — Sean Shimabukuro

“That special feeling you get when you meet a stranger and they say, ‘Oh, you’re Uchinanchu, too?’” — Lyn Uesato, sansei, Gushichan Sonjin Kai

“Dedication, hard work, perseverance, loyalty and pride — commitment to excellence.” — Keith Kaneshiro

“Color purple.” — Kenneth Mijo

“Warm-hearted and loving.” — Douglas Miyasato

“Andagi and hair.” — Terry T. Taira

“A giving heart, willing to help generously.” — Ron Miyasato

“An Uchinanchu who doesn’t know how to say ‘no.’” — John Tasato

“Heart.” — Gainor Miyashiro

“For me, it is a person who will go out of his/her way to help others without regards for their own benefit.” — Jay Nakandakare

“Their kindness, warmth and generous spirit.” — Carolyn Oki

“Pride in our heritage.” — Dorothy Shiroma Hoe

“Open-hearted and good-spirited people who enjoy reaching a common goal.” — Sandy Kaneshiro

“Hair, good looks and fabulous character. One who helps others.” — David Kobashigawa

“It’s what is in this heart.” — Thomas Ikehara

“The feeling of Chimugukuru.” — Karen Kuba-Hori