Category Archives: Kenjinkai

2018 Scholarship for Students of Japanese Culture

JPASC Scholarship

Photo courtesy of Michelle Akamine, a past recipient of the scholarship

The Okinawa Association of America (OAA) is currently seeking applicants for the Japanese Prefectural Association of Southern California (Nanka Kenjinkai Kyogikai) scholarship award for exceptional students of Japanese and Okinawan culture. We can recommend up to two (2) OAA members and final selection will be done by the JPASC.


Application Requirements:

  • Current member of the OAA with no outstanding dues
    • If the applicant is a dependent, then their parent/guardian must be a current OAA member
    • If the applicant or parent/guardian is a member of another kenjinkai, you may apply through them
  • Between 17 – 27 years of age
  • Currently a dedicated practitioner of a Japanese or Okinawan cultural tradition (e.g., art, entertainment, martial arts*)
    • Minimum of 2 years of experience
    • * For martial arts, the applicant must have a minimum of ni-dan or equivalent

The applicant will need a recommendation letter from his/her instructor and the OAA president, school transcripts, and passport photos.

Please contact the OAA for the application:


2018 Onna Village Kenshuu Program


Cape Manzamō, located near Onna Village in Okinawa (Wikipedia)

Applications are now available for the 2018 Onna Village Kenshuu Program. This is an all-expenses-paid scholarship for young Uchinaanchu to study in Okinawa for six months.

Please contact the OAA by May 7, 2018 to begin the application process:, (310) 532-1929. The application is very intensive, so please do not wait until the last minute.

September 2018 to February 2019


  • Must be a current OAA member
  • Must have ancestral/familial roots in Onna Village, Okinawa
  • Must have a relative/friend in Okinawa to sponsor you (preferably somebody living in Onna Village)
  • Must be between 18 – 35 years of age
  • Must be in relatively good health
  • Some Japanese language skills required

(Note: If you are not an OAA member, please contact your local Okinawa kenjinkai/association to apply. Applying does not guarantee acceptance into the program.)

OAA Annual Scholarship for Graduating High School Students (Deadline: May 31, 2018)


DEADLINE: Application materials must be postmarked or delivered to the OAA office by May 31, 2018 (Thursday), 4:00 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time)


  • Applicant must be of full or partial Okinawan descent
  • Parents or guardians must be OAA members
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Applicant must be graduating high school in 2018

The awards will be based primarily on academic accomplishments with due consideration given to extracurricular, community activities, and financial needs. The scholarship awards will be presented at the OAA’s Annual Members’ Picnic at Whittier Narrows Recreation Park on Sunday, July 15, 2018 (date subject to change).


Please contact the OAA for more information at (310) 532-1929 or

2018 Homestay Program in L.A.

Okinawa Association of America (OAA) in Los Angeles, California is considering a homestay program that is being organized by the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG).

We are searching for local families who are interested in potentially hosting high school/college students and adult chaperones from Okinawa during a two-week period in August 2018.

During their stay with host families this will be a great opportunity for cultural exchange, especially for families who have roots in Okinawa!

Please continue reading for the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and to download the Application Form. ⤵

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2018 OAA New Year’s Party

New Year's Party

The New Year’s Party is one of the OAA’s largest annual events, drawing 600+ participants!

Okinawa Association of America’s
Annual New Year’s Party 2018
Sunday, January 21 • 11AM ~ 3:30PM • Quiet Cannon

901 Via San Clemente, Montebello, CA 90640
Facebook Event Page

Click on a link below to learn more:

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2017 Okinawa Bazaar

2017 Bazaar FLYER FRONT

Artwork and design by Jeff Shimane

Okinawa Association of America’s
Annual Okinawa Bazaar & Fundraiser
Sunday, October 8 • 11AM ~ 4PM • OAA Center Parking Lot

16500 South Western Avenue, Gardena 90247
Facebook Event Page

Click on a link below to learn more:

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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,

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):