Category Archives: Meet and Greet

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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USA Silver Medalist Talks Story with the OAA! (VIDEOS)

by Joseph Kamiya, OAA volunteer/videographer

On Friday, September 7th, we had the honor of hosting a meet and greet with USA Silver Medalist, Tamari Miyashiro (Women’s Volleyball)! With the U.S. national volleyball team, she won the Gold Medal at the 2011 FIVB World Grand Prix and recently won the Silver Medal at the 2012 Olympics. She had some great anecdotes and insights to share with us and we’re glad to be able to share them with you as well!

Here are a handful of video excerpts from that night… (full 1+ hour video coming soon, so please “like” us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for updates!)

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Meet & Greet with Team USA Olympian, Tamari Miyashiro! (PHOTOS)

by Edward Kamiya, OAA board member and volunteer


Team USA Olympian, Tamari Miyashiro (2012 Silver Medalist for Women’s Volleyball) with (L to R): Sadao Tome, Chogi Higa, OAA President Kimiko Goya, and Hiro Tome. (photographed by Kristin Yamauchi)

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