Hawaii United Okinawa Association gives awards for distinguished service

Hawaii United Okinawa Association gives awards for distinguished service

Ching (from right), Isara, Murata, Cheryl Nakasone, Cheryl Yoshie Nakasone, Jackson Nakasone, Toguchi, Governor Abercrombie at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel on November 3.

December 9, 2013 Chikako Nago of Ryukyu Shimpo

On November 3 at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, the Hawaii United Okinawa Association held a ceremony for the Yujiri Legacy Awards 2013. This event recognizes individuals who have contributed to the well-being of Hawaiian society and provided outstanding service in Hawaii’s Okinawan community. This year is the fifth time it has been held since 2003.

More than 400 people, including Governor Neil Abercrombie and Mayor of Honolulu Kirk Caldwell gathered to celebrate the event. Those honored with awards were introduced with short video clips about their lives and contributions, with performances by their families and friends also adding to the ceremony.

President of the association, George Bartels, said that its mission is to promote, pass on, and preserve Okinawan culture. He went on to say that he thanked all those who received awards for their outstanding contributions and continued support of the association.

The award winners contributed to preserving and passing on Okinawan culture by manifesting the chimugukuru and yuimaru spirit inherited from their ancestors. The six award winners are as follows:

Doris Ching, (Yonabaru Chojin Kai) contributed to higher education at universities in Hawaii, Guam, and California.

Charles Toguchi (Ginoza Sonjin Kai) contributed as an educator and politician to Hawaii’s public schools to the implementation of Hawaiian language education.
Jackson Nakasone (Shuri Naha Club) contributed as a commercial real estate agent to building the Hawaii Okinawa Center and Plaza.

Cheryl Yoshie Nakasone (Goeku son) is a master dance instructor and director of Jimpu Kai USA and lecturer at the University of Hawaii.

Grant “Sandaa” Murata (Kanegusuku Sonjin Kai) is a master sanshin instructor and director of the Afuso Ryu Gensei Kai Hawaii Chapter. He has contributed to training instructors.

Henry Isara (Kochinda Chojin Kai) has worked as an adviser for entertainment events. He has contributed to presenting Okinawan culture as a community leader and producer of the Hawaii Okinawa Today TV show.

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

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