Okinawan Festival


Year Started 1928
Past President Dr. Shusei Yamashiro (1928-30)
Eisho Nakamura (1947-53)
Sikichi Miyahira (1953-57)
Eiko Teruya (1957-59)
Tokusaburo Tamashiro (1959-73)
Taro Miyahira (1973-76)
Wallace Seiko Miyahira (1976-79)
Roy R. Yonahara (1979)
Notes Notes by Roy Yonahara: Out of the need to band together to help solve their mutual problems, the early Okinawan immigrants on Maui formed chiho kenjinkai (club of the area) and aza-son-shijin clubs. The chiho kenjinkai were clubs whose membership was based on localities in Maui. Poor transportation and limited movement within the island made it necessary for each town, village or district--e.g., Wailuku, Kahului, Lahaina, Paia, Haij\ku, Puunene, Huelo, Peahi--to have a chiho Kenjinkai. At the same time there were the aza-son-shijin clubs. The annual picnics sponsored by the aza-son-shijin clubs were big events looked forward to by all. Usual picnic games included sumo for the boys. There were enough prizes to supply the children with their school needs for most of the year. About 1928, Dr. Shusei Yamashiro spearheaded the organization of the Maui toitsu dantai (Maui united organization) in an effort to unite all the Maui Okinawan communities. Dr. Yamashiro served as its president and Ryosen Yonahara, its secretary. Representatives from each chiho kenjinkai participated in the organization. The Mauitoitsu dantai lasted for about two years; internal agitation by members with communistic leanings created problems too difficult to overcome. In 1922 the Maui Doshikai was organized in the East Maui area (Puunene to Huelo). Wailuku and Kahului formed their own clubs. Organizers and officers of the Maui Doshikai were Disho Nakamura, Zenwa Shimabuku, Fushun Teruya, Kicho Kohatsu, Chosoku Kochi and Matsu Kameya. This organization, too, ended after lasting for about two years. After the demise of the al-Okinawan organizations, the chiho kenjinkai becfame active again, but eventually the exodus of Okinawans from Maui to Honolulu resulted in decreased membership in both the chiho kenjinkai and aza-son-shijin clubs. During World War II, club activities were suspended and club records were destroyed. In 1945, as part of the relief program to adi postwar Okinawa, many boxes of clothing were collected by the Okinawans on Maui. Under the direction of Dr. Edward S. Kushi, medical supplies were also sent to Okinawa. About 1947 the Maui Ryukyu remmei kai (Federaion of Maui Ryukyu clubs) was organized to encompass all of the Okinawan communities on Maui. Eisho Nakamura served as president; Yasunori Tamashiro, secretary; and Shinichi Okuhama, treasurer. Other key organizers were Kochi Gushiken, Eiko Teruya, Kiyoshi Oshiro, Saburo Agena and Seikichi Miyahira. In the early 1960s the Maui Ryukyu remmei kai changed its name to Maui Okinawa jin kei rengo kai (Maui United Okinawan Association). In 1972 when Okinawa was returned to Japan, the club was renamed Maui Okinawa Kenjinkai. Today the headquarters for the organization is the clubhouse built by the Wailuku Showa seinen kai (Wailuku young people's association), an organization active in the 1930s. Kochi Gushiken, Zenwa Shimabuku and Richard Kishaba were instrumental in raising$1,000 for the clubhouse construction. Presently the Maui Okinawan kenjinkai gives three scholarships yearly to deserving students. Donations by members have made fundraising projects unnecessary. Edwin T. Ige donated $10,000 to the scholarship fund; others have contributed amounts ranging from $5 to $500. Another important function of the club serves is hosting delegations from Okinawa to banquets and sight seeing trips. The annual picnic in August is the biggest event that brings members and families together for a day of enjoyment. Aside from the usual games and entertainment, all issei attaining the age of 80 are presented with maui-shaped plaques. This recognition of senior members has gone on for many years. The Kenjinkai also carries on activities that perpetuate the culture and art of Okinawa.
Newsletters 2013 June
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2011 January
2010 March
2009 Winter
2009 Fall
2009 Special Maui Okinawan Festival Newsletter
2009 Summer
2009 Spring
2008 December
2008 October
2008 July
2008 April
2008 January Special
2008 January
2007 August
2004 July
2004 April
2004 January
Events Shinnen Enkai March 7, 2009 and other events 
Chinagu Eisa Hawaii, Saturday November 9,2013
Documents Proposed Bylaws Sep 2008