Category Archives: Special Events

2016 New Year’s Party

Okinawa Association of America’s Annual New Year’s Party
Sunday, January 17 • 11AM ~ 3:30PM • Quiet Cannon @ Montebello Golf Course

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

Click on a link below to learn more:
ABOUT | ENTERTAINMENT | RAFFLE PRIZES
LUNCHEON | MERCHANDISE | TICKET INFORMATION
VOLUNTEER | DONATE

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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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2013 Okinawan Bon Dance & Picnic

The Okinawa Association of America (OAA)‘s Annual Picnic has been a tradition for local Okinawans and Okinawans-at-heart since its first incarnation in the 1930’s. The picnic has always been a highly anticipated event for families enjoying summer afternoons of homemade treats, family games, and Okinawan cultural performances. It has also become the venue for the OAA to award its annual scholarships to graduating high school students.

This year will mark the seventh year of Okinawa-style bon dancing at the OAA Picnic. Regardless of age or experience, everybody is invited to participate! Okinawa-style bon dancing is accompanied by dancing drummers (eisa) and sanshin (banjo-like instrument) musicians. The origin of bon dancing is a Buddhist ritual to soothe the souls of ancestors during the summer Bon (or Obon) Festival.

The OAA Picnic will be held on Sunday, July 7, 10AM – 4PM, at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Park (download park map), Area E-1, 750 Santa Anita Ave., South El Monte. Teriyaki bento orders ($7 each) and pre-sale raffle tickets ($1 each) are now available to purchase until June 28.  Top raffle prizes are an iPad Mini donated by Kamiya Insurance Agency, and a flatscreen HD TV donated by the OAA Seisonenbu Activities Committee. Parking is $6. Please contact the OAA office at (310) 532-1929 or mensore@earthlink.net for more information.

Download the bento/raffle pre-order form and raffle ticket form

Please submit your pre-order form, raffle ticket form, and payment (made payable to the “Okinawa Association of America”) to: 16500 South Western Avenue #203, Gardena, CA 90247.

Bon dance practices will take place on June 24 and July 1, 7:30 PM, at the Higashi Bldg. of the OAA Center, 16500 S. Western Ave., Gardena. Practices are open to the public. Practice videos are posted here.

(Non-OAA) 2 Uchinanchu Filmmakers @ LA Asian Pacific Film Fest

We are honored to have 2 Uchinanchu filmmakers presenting their short films at this year’s Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (presented by Visual Communications)! Every year this festival provides a venue for the brightest talents within the Asian American and Asian international communities, bringing together hundreds of feature-length and short-form films/videos to be showcased over the course of the festival’s 1-week duration.

Typhoon of Steel Filmmaker Gena Hamamoto (producer of The Crumbles) will have her 19-minute UCLA thesis film “Typhoon of Steel” screened at this year’s Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (May 7th – 7:00 PM – CGV Cinemas 3)! The short documentary focuses on the lives of two Okinawan American members of the MIS (Military Intelligence Service) and their experiences during World War II.

Obon Jivers, Under the Wig Christy Ishimine will have her 5-minute documentary “Obon Jivers, Under the Wig” screened during the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival’s Digital Histories program (May 7th – 4:00 PM – CGV Cinemas 2)! Christy’s short documentary follows a group of Elvis impersonators who are often sighted at local Japanese American festivals!

Both films will be presented at the CGV Cinemas in Koreatown (621 South Western Avenue, Los Angeles 90005) on May 7th. To purchase tickets for “Typhoon of Steel” or “Obon Jivers, Under the Wig”, please click on the respective titles. NOTE: This is not an OAA-sponsored event.

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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