World Uchinaanchu (Okinawan) Day Potluck

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Community Event

Oct 201825
7:00p.m. - 9:00p.m.

Okinawa Association of America (OAA)
16500 S. Western Ave.
Yamauchi Building
Gardena, California, 90247
United States

In celebration of the 2nd Annual World Uchinaanchu Day (WUD), the Okinawa Association of America (OAA) will have a special program at their monthly Nuchaashii Potluck Gathering on Thursday, October 25, 7 - 9 PM, at the OAA Center in Gardena, California.

In contrast to last year’s WUD festivities – which were organized by a group of professional musicians and dancers from Okinawa – this year’s event will be a more casual evening with family, friends, and fellow Okinawans (and Okinawans-at-heart). Because this is a smaller event, RSVP is requested by October 24, 2018:, 310-532-1929, reserve online

“Let us set off, to the five continents we will call home.”
The program will include a short talk about Kyūzō Tōyama (1868 - 1910). Historically known as the father of Okinawan immigration, Tōyama believed that sending people to work in Hawai‘i and the Americas would help alleviate Okinawa’s economic struggles. Despite resistance from the Japanese government, Tōyama succeeded and the first group of Okinawans arrived in Hawai‘i in January 1900. This year marks Tōyama’s 150th birthday.

There will also be group sharing that focuses on Okinawan music. Music has played a significant role throughout Okinawan history: from the spiritual and harvest-based rituals and celebrations to the modern musicians embracing their ancestral heritage and inspiring younger generations to do the same. And for Okinawan immigrants and descendants across the world, music has been instrumental in discovering their roots and forming their identities.

The organizers invite attendees to think about this prompt: “Is there a traditional or modern Okinawan song that moves you, brings back fond memories, or made an impact on you?" Please bring songs on a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive (mp3 or wav file). Karaoke and acoustic performances are also welcome (sanshin, guitar, or karaoke music can be provided if advanced notice is given).

About World Uchinaanchu Day

At the closing ceremony of the 2016 Worldwide Uchinaanchu Festival – a massive, global “homecoming” for the descendants of Okinawan immigrants – the late Okinawa Prefecture Governor Takeshi Onaga announced that October 30 would henceforth be declared as World Uchinaanchu Day (WUD). The idea was proposed by Andres Higa and Tadashi Andres Ysa Urbina, third-generation Okinawan descendants from Argentina and Peru, respectively.

Higa and Urbina took to the stage with a powerful message: “We have gratitude for our ancestors in our hearts. We have love for all those we meet in our hearts. We have love for our ancestral home in our hearts.” The speech – spoken in Japanese with a large screen displaying English, Portuguese, and Spanish translations – was received with loud cheers from the audience. “[Today] Uchinaanchu of the world have gathered once again, and once again our hearts have become one. Let us celebrate the fact that we are all Uchinaanchu.”

About the OAA Monthly Potluck

The organization’s reoccurring Nuchaashii Potluck Gathering began in January 2017 and has since established an intergenerational group of regulars. It has become a community-based event with attendees sharing delicious food (homemade and store-bought) as well as personal experiences and opinions based on each month’s presentation. Two regulars recently discovered that they might be distant relatives. The potluck is held on the last Thursday of every month (unless otherwise noted).

The OAA Center is located at 16500 South Western Avenue, Gardena 90247. For more information or to place a reservation, please contact the office (weekdays, 10 AM - 4 PM): 310-532-1929,


josephkamiya . Last modified Oct 18 2018 4:10 p.m.


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