Monthly Archives: March 2013

Okinawan Heart & Spirit: Informal Lecture by Shinichi Maehara

Shinichi Maehara

The Okinawa Association of America (OAA) will be hosting an informal talk with Shinichi Maehara on Saturday, March 23, 3:00PM at the OAA Center (16500 S. Western Ave. Gardena 90247, FREE ADMISSION). The event will be the first in an ongoing series of lectures presented by the OAA’s Bunka-Bu (Culture Committee). Mr. Maehara, a retired executive director at Okinawa Television (OTV), will be discussing the preservation and sharing of the Okinawan heart and spirit by the Okinawan diaspora.

In 2011, Mr. Maehara received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. The honor was given for his contributions to the understanding of the Okinawan diaspora. He traveled to 35 countries to document the lives of overseas Okinawans, compiling those interviews into a series called Sekai Uchinanchu Kikō (Uchinanchu Worldwide)”. Inspired by a Ryukyu Shimpo newspaper series of the same name, Mr. Maehara’s documentary series ran from 1987 to 2001 and in 2004, totaling 206 episodes and earning an award from the National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan.

Equally educational and entertaining, the episodes focused on Okinawans living in different countries and presented the scenery and native cultures of those countries. Even though the interviewees moved away from Okinawa (or were born outside of Okinawa), Mr. Maehara found many commonalities that were linked by their shared Okinawan roots – the strong presence of Chimugukuru (the Okinawan heart and spirit, an attitude often characterized by universal family and acceptance) and the practice and sharing of the Okinawan culture and language.

This free event will take place at the OAA’s Yamauchi Building (16500 S. Western Ave. Gardena 90247). Please RSVP by calling the OAA at 310-532-1929 or emailing mensore@earthlink.net.

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