Category Archives: From Okinawa

Kempi Scholarship 2018 – 2019

Kempi 3 copy

Kempi students from Argentina, China, Bolivia, Peru, and U.S. participating in the Grand Sanshin Gathering during the 2016 Worldwide Uchinaanchu Festival. Photo courtesy of Maiya Gessling

Every year, the Okinawa Prefectural Government offers scholarships for young Okinawans (ages 18 to 35) to study in Okinawa for one year. This is a wonderful opportunity for young adults of full or partial Okinawan descent to learn about their ancestral heritage as well as develop relationships with local and international Uchinaanchu.

The program offers two options:

  1. Study at one of the prefecture’s universities
  2. Study a traditional art (e.g., sanshin, dance, textiles, lacquer, sanshin making, cuisine, etc.)

Application requirements include conversational Japanese skills (higher proficiency required for universities) and a relative or family friend who lives in Okinawa to act as a guarantor.

Applications are now available for Southern California applicants at the OAA office or via email by request: 310-532-1929, oaamensore@gmail.com

The application deadline is September 11, but interested parties are encouraged to pick up and read through the application as soon as possible because it will be a highly extensive process.

Information Sessions:

  • July 29, 1PM at the OAA Center, Room 103
  • Mid-August (to be announced)

Here’s a short segment from OTV (Okinawa Television Broadcasting Co., Ltd) that talks about the program and interviews one of the OAA’s nominated participants (Japanese language only):

Battle of Okinawa: Lecture, Performance, and Sharing

2015 Irei no Hi TEASER FLYER 1 Medium

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Orion Beer Commercial in Los Angeles

UPDATE: Click here to view the commercial! Click on 30sec(ロスVer)

NOTE: Please contact the OAA at 310-532-1929 or mensore@earthlink.net to sign up for this commercial filming. This is not a public filming, so sign-up is required. The producers have informed us that OAA members will get priority in the sign-up because they wish to focus on international Okinawa organizations. Please contact us for more information.

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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.

“Legend of Hagoromo” Opera (PHOTOS)

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Okinawa-based Theatre Production Comes to Torrance!

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[日本語 バージョン]

The Legend of Hagoromo: Okinawa-based theatre group aims to transcend the language barrier

Saturday, February 9th, 3:00 PM
James R. Armstrong Theatre
3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance 90503
$20.00 general admission
To purchase tickets:
(310) 532-1929 or mensore@earthlink.net

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