In December 1899, more than two dozen migrants left Okinawa for Hawaii, starting a mass exodus that, for more than a century, has profoundly shaped the communities of those who departed and those who stayed behind. The upcoming sixth Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival offers thousands of Okinawans living overseas a chance to return to their roots
BY JON MITCHELL (originally published in the Japan Times)Under the slogan “Let the whole world move to the Uchina beat,” Okinawa will host the prefecture’s largest international event, the sixth Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival from Thursday, Oct. 27, to Sunday, Oct. 30. (Uchina means Okinawa in the island’s language, while Uchinanchu means an Okinawan person). Festivities will include a mass sanshin music recital, traditional eisa dances and a karate drill that, organizers hope, will be large enough to win a mention in Guinness World Records.
For more information on the sixth Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival, visit wuf2016.com/jp. Information is available in Japanese, English, Spanish and Portuguese.