Okinawan Festival


Year Started April 1921, with 20-30 member families; reorganized in 1953.
Organizers Seizun Uyehara, Shohei Miyasato, Kogoro Yonamine, Eijin Uyeunten, Seishin Uyehara, Seiryu Nakamura
Original Officers 1953, Hideyasu Kohashikawa, president; Masao Tamanaha, vice president; Kametar Miyahira, secretary; Ichiro Kobashigawa, treasurer
Past President Hideyasu Kohashikawa (1953-55; 1963-66)
Eikichi Kobashigawa (1955-57)
Jack Shiroma (1957-59)
Kamesuki Shiroma (1959-61)
Kametaro Miyahira (1961-63)
Jiro Shiroma (1966-68)
Albert Miyahira (1968-69)
Yoshinobu Miyahira (1967-71)
Paul Kaneshiro (1971-73)
Hideo Miyahira (1973-75)
Walter Shiroma (1976- 79)
The only pre-World War II president that long-time members recall is Eishin Kobashigawa.
Notes Notes by Hideyasu Kohashikawa and Walter Shiroma: (1) Aza-Gaza and Aza- Yonagusuku are neighboring aza which are part of Nishihara-son. Because there were so many immigrants from Aza-Gaza, the people of the two aza united to form their own club, one separate from the Nishihara Sonjinkai. In fact, in the 1920s the Gaza Yonagusuku Doshikai, with a membership of between 20 and 30 families, was one of the larger Okinawan locality clubs. (2) During World War II because members were afraid that club records could be used to implicate a person of being un-American, the records were destroyed. (3) The Gaza elders' interest in Okinawan affairs was greatly heightened when Taira Koichi, who is from the Aza-Gaza, became governor of Okinawa in 1976. Many Gaza elders knew the governor personally and therefore felt close to him. When the governor visited Hawaii in 1977, Walter Shiroma, president of Gaza Yonagusuku Doshikai, served as co-chairman of the reception sponsored by the United Okinawan Association.
Newsletter Winter 2011
August 2011