Booklet about Okinawan immigrants published
February 5, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo
The Okinawa NGO Center, which conducted the “Let’s Study! The Worldwide Uchinanchu Project,” in which during the 5th Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival students in Okinawa learned about the history of Okinawan migrants, published CHAMPURREADO, a booklet containing the educational materials used in the project. The Center plans to distribute these booklets to schools and libraries in Okinawa and to call for the continuation of such studies.
From February to December 2011, the Center implemented the project for about 16000 students of elementary schools, junior high schools and high schools, and special-needs schools within Okinawa. The materials in the booklet introduces not only the experiences of Okinawans who emigrated but also nostalgic reflections on the lyrics of Choki Fukuhara’s Imin Ko-uta (Migrant Song), a song about the feelings of Okinawans who migrated to Hawaii for economic reasons. The booklet includes detachable photographs and cards, which enable pupils to actively learn about Okinawan migrants and their societies in an enjoyable manner.
Satsuki Kinjo, a staff member of the Center, said, “Some of the students did not know about Okinawan migration and the reason behind the Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival, but our project made them aware of this. Even after the Festival was over, we would like them to continuing these studies.”
Many people in Okinawa, including high school teachers, were involved in creating the booklet. One of them is second generation Okinawan Argentinian Patricia Matayoshi, who said, “Although I was proud of being of Okinawan descent, at first I thought that it was a little bit of a shame that so few people knew that Okinawans had emigrated overseas to countries such as Argentina. I am glad that young people in Okinawa can use these materials and learn about Okinawan migrants.”
The booklet is not sold in bookstores.
For further details, call the Okinawa NGO Center at 098 (892) 4758
(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)
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