Prejudice against Okinawas from mainland folks

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  • en

I even heard it when I went to Okinawa, that it was still kind of there. There’s still this…just difference because you’re from Okinawa or… There’s a lot of stereotypes too that Okinawan folks are…they don’t come on time, always come later. That’s a funny one. Or that they’re kind of like just running on their own time and a little bit more chill and relaxed. Like island folks, small island folks. One thing that did stick out was in Peru, a lot of immigrants from Japan in general, and so some people would hide the fact that they’re Okinawan to try to marry someone or to try to fit in with this…Japan mainland folks. And I thought that was so funny, one thing that I remember was, even folks with the last name Kanashiro or Arakaki – which are very Okinawan – would try to be like “no, no, no I’m mainland,” “I’m a mainland person.” So that’s one thing that my parents did share with me. It’s like trying to deny that as much as possible.

Date: August 30, 2018
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Sharon Yamato
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

identity okinawan peru prejudice stereotype

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