To commemorate more than 100 years of Okinawans immigrating to Hawaii, musicians from Okinawa will gather to Hawaii for a night of grand musical performances to honor and recognize the history and bond of Hawaii and Okinawa.
To understand the meaning of this event even further, we dug into the history between Hawaii and Okinawa.
Hawaii is a remote island from mainland America and Okinawa is a remote island from mainland Japan. As you can see from the pictures below, they share a lot of similarities being an insular state.
Both are considered to be tropical resort destinations with warm weather, slow-paced atmosphere and friendly people to name a few but historically they share a lot in common as well.
The major one is that both were insular state with a royal dynasty that became part of another country. Hawaii was once an independent country with its own dynasty until the U.S. invasion and became the 50th state of America in 1959. Okinawa was once called the Ryukyu Kingdom but after the battle with the Satsuma clan and the foreign relationship between China and Southeast Asia, the kingdom became part of Japan as Okinawa prefecture in 1879.
When World War II ended in 1945, Okinawa was left in burnt ruins with severe food shortages. Hearing upon the distress the Okinawa immigrants in Hawaii got together to shipped clothes, medical supplies, farm tools, education supplies and others to help the Okinawa islands. One of the most famous items in the shipment was pigs.
Okinawan preferred pork as their traditional dishes and there were many pig farms throughout Okinawa. However, with the fierce ground battles, it was said that the pigs cattle plummeted from 100,000 to 7,700. With such important lifeline taking a devastating blow, the immigrants shipped 550
White pigs back to Okinawa to help the island. The pigs, which are easy to breed because of their high fertility rate, are believed to have helped ward off starvation for many Okinawans.
Approximately 50,000 Okinawa decedents live in Hawaii today. They first immigrated over to Hawaii in 1900, where they found work at sugar cane farms around Waipio area (Westside of Pearl Harbor, Oahu). The Okinawan immigrant has always had a strong bond with one another and has been actively participating as part of the Okinawa Associations and clubs.
In 1990, to mark as the 90th anniversary of the mass Okinawa immigration to Hawaii, the Hawaii Okinawa Center was created as the base for the Hawaii United Okinawa Association (HUOA) in Waipio, where the first Okinawa immigrants found work. When constructing the Hawaii Okinawa Center, the Okinawa prefecture was able to collect a lot of donations to show their appreciating for the support they received after the war.
The main vocalist of MONBOL800, Kiyosaku, who will be performing in “Ryukyu no Kaze in HAWAII,” visited the Hawaii Okinawa Center when visiting Hawaii the other day.
And so, going back to the main topic, “Ryukyu no Kaze in HAWAII” will be held to commemorate this great relationship with a grand Okinawan music festival, to celebrate all the support and cooperation Hawaii has given Okinawa over the years and to strengthen their relationship with one another.
A hui hou!
Time: March 14, 2016 (Monday)
Door Open: 6:00 PM
Show Start: 6:30 PM
Venue: Hawaii Convention Center
*For more information click HERE.