Wesley Ueunten

Wesley Ueunten is a Sansei Okinawan, born and raised on Kaua'i, Hawai'i. After spending nearly 10 years living in Okinawa and Japan, he moved to California to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He now teaches in the Asian American Studies Department at San Francisco State University.

Updated March 2008

community en

Nikkei in Cuba - Reflections from Three U.S. Nikkei Groups

The term "Nikkei" can be generally translated to mean "of Japanese lineage," but as the years and generations pass since large-scale overseas Japanese emigration started in the late 1800s, determining what Nikkei means has becoming increasingly complicated.

For example, many Nikkei are descendants of immigrants who left Japan before World War II; how is their identity different from the post-War immigrants and their descendants? Another point to consider is that a proportionally large number of Nikkei are, in fact, from the small island of Okinawa. Further, the Nikkei diaspora is indeed scattered across the world, with the larger portion of ...

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identity en

Aman Nagamiyura: Uchinanchu Diaspora Blues

I was honored to be part of the panel discussion on “Okinawans and their Global Networks” at the Japanese American National Museum on March 1, 2008. The information provided by Professors Hiroyuki Kinjo, Naomi Noiri, and Kentar? Kuwatsuka from the University of the Ryukyus gave me a wider understanding of Okinawans around the world. The heartfelt presentation by my colleague and friend Yuko Yamauchi of the Okinawa Association of America about her experiences in Okinawa also inspired me. Participation on that panel got me thinking more deeply about the Uchinanchu diaspora. “Uchinaanchu” is the Okinawa word for “person of Okinawa ...

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