From DiscoverNikkei.org

Chronological Table of the Okinawa Association of America, Inc. (OAA)


日本語


1889

    Keizo Kawatsu (b. Naha) arrives in California from Vancouver B.C. and settles in Arizona

1896

    Toki Higa arrives in San Francisco and is the first person to arrive in the U.S. directly from Okinawa

1898

    Tokuta Nishime and others arrive in San Francisco as students

1900.1.26

    Okinawan immigrants arrive in Hawaii

1901

    Okinawans start migrating from Hawaii to San Francisco

1902

    First Okinawa Kenjinkai is formed in San Francisco with about 50 members

1903 (?)

    Kosuke Uema settles in Los Angeles via San Francisco, opens restaurant on E. First Street

1905
    About 30 young Okinawan workers from a Mexican coal mine migrate to Los Angeles, form Comrades Society (Doshikai)
1906.4

    San Francisco Earthquake prompts most Okinawans to move to Los Angeles

1906

    Okinawans from San Francisco form Hometown Friendship Club (Kyoyu Club) in Los Angeles

1908

    The U.S.-Japan Gentleman’s Agreement limits entry from Hawaii to the mainland

1909.2

    Comrades Society and Hometown Friendship Club are united to form the Southern California Okinawa Kenjinkai (Nanka Okinawa Kenjinkai) (Tokuta Nishime, President)

1913

    California Alien Land Law drives many Japanese out of agriculture

1921

    Okinawan youths, influenced by Proletariat thoughts, form New Dawn Club (Reimeikai), which disbands after a few years

1923

    Kin Club is formed and continues to exist to the present

1924

    Immigration Act completely halts Japanese immigration

1925.5

    Nanka Okinawa Kenjinkai becomes the Southern California Branch of the Okinawa Overseas Association (Okinawa Kaigai Kyokai Nanka Shibu) (Kamado Ota, President)

1926

    Imperial Valley Branch of the Okinawa Overseas Association (Okinawa Kaigaikyokai Imperial Valley Shibu) is formed

1926

    Okinawan Young People’s Association of America (Zaibei Okinawa Seinenkai) is formed  (Kingoro Yamashiro, President) and competes with the Okinawa Overseas Association

1927

    Okinawa Overseas Association issues the proposal “On Compiling a History of the People of Okinawa-ken in America”

1929.2 

    Fuyu Iha visits California, lectures on Okinawa history and culture in Brawley, Fresno and other places

1932.1

    Five Okinawans are arrested for alleged communist activities as part of the Long Beach Incident

1934.11

    Okinawan Young People’s Association of America becomes Okinawa Prefectural Association of America (Zaibei Okinawa Kenjinkai) (Shingi Nakamura, Chair)

1935-40

    A Kenjinkai News Magazine, Ryukyu (Nos 1-7), is issued

1936

    Over 1,000 people attend the first picnic held in Elysian Park

1937.1

    Okinawan Nisei start an independent organization

1939

    Imperial Valley Branch of the Okinawa Overseas Association and Imperial Valley Okinawa Association are united to form the Imperial Valley Okinawa Overseas Association (Imperial Valley Kaigai Kyokai)

1939.7

    First annual scholarship for graduating high school seniors is awarded at the annual picnic (Kenji Yamakawa, first recipient)

1939.12

    Monument is dedicated to the late Nishime Tokuta and the first Memorial Service for Okinawan pioneers is held at Evergreen Cemetery

1941.6

    Okinawa Overseas Association and Southern California Okinawa Association are united to establish the Okinawa Association of North America (Hokubei Okinawa Kyokai) (Chodo Okutake, President)

1941.8

    A grand picnic is held to celebrate the founding of the Okinawa Association of North America

1941.12

    Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, and the U.S. enters WWII

1942.2

    Executive Order No. 9066 triggers forced removal of 110,000 Japanese Americans from the Western United States

1942-1945

    Most mainland U.S. Okinawans are removed to internment camps, some volunteer for military services, and organizational activities cease

1942-44

    The Peruvian government forces Japanese to emigrate, with many eventually settling in the U.S.

1946.6

    Okinawa War Damage Relief League (Zaibei Okinawa Sensai Kyuen Renmei) is formed in Los Angeles (Shingi Nakamura Chair; Shinsei Kochi, Publicity Chair) and coordinates with relief committees in Chicago, Denver, Fresno, San Francisco, and other cities, to collect and ship money and materials to Okinawa; publishes the newsletter Kyuen News.

1948 (?)

    The Okinawan Peruvians form the Peru Club in Los Angeles

1948.5

    Okinawa War Damage Relief League is renamed the Okinawa Reconstruction League (Zaibei Okinawa Fukko Renmei)

1951.2

    Okinawa Performing Arts Preservation Society (Hokubei Okinawa Geino Hozonkai) is formed (Katujiro Nakasone, President)

1951.5

    Memorial Service for Okinawan pioneers is held at Evergreen Cemetery

1953.2

    Okinawan Performing Arts Study Group of North America (Hokubei Okinawa Geino Kenkyukai) is formed (Chusuke Iha, President)

1954.1

    Okinawa Reconstruction League is renamed the Okinawa Club of America (Hokubei Okinawa Club) (Choshin Higa, President)

1954.3

    Women’s Club (Fujinbu) is formed (Toshiko Hirashiki, Chair)

1955.12

    Directory of Okinawans is issued and lists 493 names

1959.4

    Scholarship Fund is established (Masuei Kamiya, Chair)

1959.9

    50th Memorial Service is held for Kyuzo Toyama

1964.8

    North American Branch of the Nomura-ryu Sokyoku Koyokai is formed (Miyo Miyagi, Branch Head)

1966.6

    Club House at 1501 5th Ave, Los Angeles is purchased

1967.4

    Reception is held for Seiho Matsuoka, Chief Executive of the Government of the Ryukyu Islands

1970.3

    Young People’s Group (Seinenbu) is formed

1970.8

    3,000 people attend the picnic in Elysian Park

1970

    North American Branch of the Nomura-ryu Ongaku Kyokai is formed (Eikichi Miyagi, President)

1971.4

    U.S.-Ryukyu Friendship Recital with visiting Okinawan performers is held at Wilshire Ebell Theater

1972.5

    Reversion of Okinawa back to Japan is celebrated at the at Los Angeles Convention Center

1972.11

    Bonsai Club is formed

1974

    4,000 people attend picnic in Elysian Park

1975.7–1976.1

    International Ocean Exposition is held at Motobu Peninsula, Okinawa

1975

    Okinawa Club participates in Nisei Week Parade

1976.6

    A lecture by Tatsuhiro Oshiro is hosted

1976.7

    Over 4,000 people attend picnic is held in Elysian Park

1977.4

    Okinawa Performing Arts Recital is held at at Wilshire Ebell Theater

1977.6

    33rd Memorial Service for the victims of the Battle of Okinawa is held at Nishi Honganji Temple, Los Angeles

1978.9

    Okinawa Performing Arts Recital held at Koyasan Betsuin, Los Angeles

1979.8

    Reception is held for Okinawa Governor Junji Nishime

1981-82

    First Kempi Scholarship student attends the University of the Ryukyus (Noriko Tokuyama, recipient)

1981.1

    History of the Okinawans in North America (Japanese edition) is published (Tsugio Miyagi and Shigemori Tamaki, co-editors)

1984

    Sisterhood Agreement is reached with the San Diego Okinawa Kenjinkai

1985.6

    95th anniversary of Okinawan immigration to North America is celebrated

1987.1

    Hokubei Okinawa Club is renamed the Hokubei Okinawa Kenjinkai

1987.3

    New Building Committee is formed (Shinyu Tawada, Chair); fundraising campaign starts

1987.11

    Performing Arts Committee (Geinobu) is established (Yasukazu Takushi, Chair)

1988

    History of the Okinawans in North America (English edition) is published (Ben Kobashigawa, translator)

1989.5

    Performing Arts Committee’s first annual “Utayabira Uduyabira Recital” is held at Orange County Buddhist Temple

1989.9

    100th Anniversary of Okinawan immigration to North America is celebrated

1990.8

    First Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival is held in Okinawa

1992-93

    First Kempi Scholarship student attends the Okinawa Prefectural University of the Arts (Kristine Kamiya, recipient)

1993.3

    Quarterly Newsletter No. 1 is published

1994.1

    Articles of Incorporation of the Okinawa Association of America, Inc. (OAA) are filed with the State of California

1995.1

    IRS recognizes OAA as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization

1995.11

    Second Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival is held in Okinawa

1996

    Young Okinawans of Southern California is formed

1996

    First annual Career Seminar is hosted (Helene Shimane, leader)

1997.6

    Performing Arts Committee receives the JACCC Presidential Award

1997.5

    10th Anniversary Celebration of the Performing Arts Committee is celebrated at the Torrance Marriott Hotel

1997.11

    Dr. Shuzen Hokama lectures on the History and Culture of Okinawa

1997

    History Committee is restarted (Sadao Tome, chair)

1998

    Bonsai Club disbands

1998.4

    Ippei Nomoto gives a lecture about the history of Yotoku Miyagi

1998.4

    New Building Committee is formed (Takao Niijima, Chair)

1999.7

    Asato Building and the adjacent brick building are purchased for the new OAA Center (16500 S Western Ave, Gardena)

1999.8

    OAA’s 90th Anniversary is celebrated

2000.1

    First annual Man of the Year and Woman of the Year Awards are presented (Yasukazu Takushi and Ethel Asato, recipients)

2000.2

    Cambridge Café building, adjacent to the brick building, is purchased

2000.7
2000.9

    New Building Fundraising Campaign is started (Ken Kamiya, Chair)

2000

    Move to the new OAA center is completed and the Club House building is sold.

2001.5

    Reception is held for Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine and delegates

2001.7

    Okinawa Junior Study Tour Program is started

2001.11

    Third Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival is held in Okinawa

2002.5

    Kajimaya Senior Citizens Club is started

2002.6

    Performing Arts Committee celebrates its 15th Anniversary

2002.10

    Uchinaguchi Class is started (Chogi Higa, Instructor)

2002

    Café building is remodeled and dedicated as the Shoan and Shizuko Yamauchi Building

2003

    Bylaws are amended to extend the term of president from one year to two years

2003.8

    OAA Library is opened

2003.12

    Brick building is remodeled and dedicated as the Joe and Yoko Higashi Building

2004.9

    Mortgage Burning Ceremony is held and donor walls are dedicated

2005.3

    Karaoke Club is started

2005.8

    OAA Library is dedicated as Charles M. and Yoshiko Kamiya Library

2005

    Women’s Club is reorganized (Kimiko Goya, Chair)

2006.9

    Chogi Higa lectures on the history and culture of Okinawa, sponsored by the Young Okinawans of Southern California

2006.10

    Fourth Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival is held in Okinawa

2007.1

    Alberto Shiroma and the Diamantes perform a benefit concert in Redondo Beach

2007.3

    Elevator is installed at the OAA Center

2007.4

    Dr. Joyce Chinen and Dr. Wesley Ueunten lecture, sponsored by the Culture Committee

2007.5

    Performing Arts Committee celebrates its 20th Anniversary

2008.1

    Shinichi Maehara of Okinawa TV lectures about the worldwide Uchinanchu

2008.2

    Uta-Sanshin Circle is started (Steve Matsumoto, Allyson Nakamoto, Lynde Tomori, Yuko Yamauchi, co-leaders)

2008

    OPG-initiated Host Family Program kicks off with three OAA families volunteering to host six students from Okinawa

2009.3

    OAA launches pages on Facebook, MySpace and YouTube (Lesley Chinen, leader)

2009.8

    OAA celebrates its 100th Anniversary with a banquet, performances, a memorial service, lectures, conferences (Hiro Tome and Victoria Oshiro, co-chairs)


Created by Okinawa Association of America, Inc.

Updated August 2009

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