Okinawan Festival
The HUOA Logo:

HUOA Logo"UOA Logo" by Ruth Adaniya
Originally published in the Uchinanchu Newsletter, July 31,1983

    Unity of the Uchinanchu; purity of heart; struggle and hope in life - these concepts are part of the visually attractive, philosophically complex, logo of the UOA [now called the HUOA.]  The logo is used for the first time in this issue.

    Designer, Seikichi Takara, a self-taught nisei artist, has exhibited his work at the Honolulu Academy of Arts and in a 1975 special exhibit commemorating the visit to Hawaii by the Emperor and Empress of Japan.  He has participated in Cultural Jubilees sponsored by Hui O Laulima and many other local exhibits.

    When asked what inspires him the most, Takara replied, "Nature.  I do not pretend to understand nature's many moods, but it does have a profound effect and influence on my creative energy."

Seikichi "Chick" Takara    Nature, represented by Diamond Head and the sago palm, is part of the UOA logo.  The logo is full of other symbolism.  According to Takara, the "U" stands for unity and Uchinanchu.  Its calabash shape connotes the feeling of kinship; that all Uchinanchu are calabash cousins.  The hollow of the "U" is reminiscent of bamboo which is clean and pure.  The unbroken, bold outline of the "U" stands for solidity.  Altogether, the "U" symbolizes the brotherhood of Okinawans and their idea of pure and solid hearts. 

    Reinforcing the idea of unity is the "O."  Within the circle are the Shurei-no-mon and sago palms which represent Okinawa, and Diamond Head which represents Hawaii.  It indicates that the people of Okinawa and the Uchinanchu of Hawaii, though distant from each other, are one.  Shurei-no-mon, the only remaining gate to the Shuri Castle, was renowned for its proclamation that the Okinawans are courteous people.  For Uchinanchu of Hawaii, it is a reminder of the character of their ancestors, their bloodline, and their heritage!  Further encapsulated in the "O" is the experience of the Okinawan immigrants to Hawaii who bridged the distance between the two islands.  Their struggles and hopes are reflected in the sago palm and Diamond Head.  The sago palm, a plant that provided sustenance during times of famine in Okinawa, evokes memories of hardship.  Diamond Head symbolizes the immigrant's hope for a better life.