Nosoko Sakae Community Group compiles stories in a book

Nosoko Sakae Community Group compiles stories in a book

On June 24, at the Fisherman’s Wharf in Yomitan Village, members of the pioneer group recall their settlement experience through the commemorative book, Kaitaku.

July 12, 2012

To mark the 50th anniversary of the settlement of Nosoko Sakae, Ishigaki City from the main island of Okinawa, histories and experiences of pioneers who moved into the area as immigrants sent by the Ryukyu Government, were compiled into a book called Kaitaku. On June 24, Ishigaki-shi Nosoko Sakae Kyoyukai, which is made up of immigrants who eventually returned to the main island of Okinawa, held a publication celebration party at Fisherman’s Wharf in Yomitan Village.

In 1954, 77 people from the main island of Okinawa settled in Sakae. The pioneers faced many challenges such as typhoon damage, malaria, and damage caused by wild boars as they worked on pineapple and sugar production.
Many immigrants began to return to the main island of Okinawa around the time of Okinawa’s reversion to Japanese administration in 1972. From that point on, the population of 476 people in 1964 rapidly declined. As of 2010, in Sakae approximately 70 people in 40 households made a living through agriculture such as pineapple growing.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the settlement, the book includes pictures and newspaper articles of the time, as well as records of meetings, and of a ceremony held in 2004 in Sakae.

Eighty-two year-old Hidemasa Iha who migrated as a pioneer and returned to the mainland in 1974 said, “Moving there led to a great deal of hardship, but the things that I have done have become the key things in my life. I don’t regret settling there.”

President Toyama of the Kyoyukai said, “Fifty-three people from Okinawa participated in the anniversary ceremony. We would like to maintain and deepen exchanges with our friends in Sakae.”

A book is available for 5000 yen. For more information, contact Tsugukazu Higa at 098-956-8587.

(English translation by T&CT, Megumi Chibana and Mark Ealey)

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