Photographs: the 60th anniversary of Okinawan immigration to Bolivia

Photographs: the 60th anniversary of Okinawan immigration to Bolivia

The first of the settlement sites, an area named "Colonia Okinawa" established by Okinawan Bolivians. On August 11.


August 25, 2014 Masaaki Umeda of the Ryukyu Shimpo

This year marks the 60th year since Okinawans emigrated to Bolivia under the immigration plan by the Ryukyu Government. After 1954, 3,385 Okinawan people emigrated to Bolivia on 19 occasions over 10 years. The migrants established a community by reclaiming dense forest.

About 800 Okinawan Bolivians currently live in three transmigration sites. Despite the difficulties the pioneers experienced, Okinawan migrants succeeded in large-scale mechanized farming. The Bolivian government approved the farm area as “capital of wheat,” which is known for its high standard in the country.

The statue-tributes to Okinawan migrants who established their community at Colonia Okinawa. At the Okinawa Association of Bolivia site on August 10.


From August 17 to 18, a harvest festival and a ceremony for the 60th anniversary of the immigration were held in Bolivia.

The descendants of Okinawan people who emigrated to Bolivia and then moved to other South American countries, and a visiting group from Okinawa took part in the ceremony.

With other Bolivians living in the settlement area attending, all the community members pledged to encourage development in the Okinawa Bolivian community.
Ryukyu Shimpo presents a photo gallery of the settlement sites .

(English translation by T&CT)

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Yukifumi Nakamura, chairperson of the Okinawa Association of Bolivia explained about the use of farm equipment by Okinawa migrants to Okinawa Vice Governor Kurayoshi Takara (left) at the Okinawa Bolivia Historical Museum on August 16.

Silos owned by the Cooperativa Agropecuaria Integral Colonias Okinawa (CAICO). Each can store about 15,000 tons of grains. The association owns 12 buildings and plans to increase this number. At the first settlement site on August 11.

The young people from Okinawa and Colonia Okinawa who took part in the Youth Future Conference which was held by the Worldwide Youth Uchinanchu Joint Association. They pledged to keep interacting with each other. At the First Japanese Bolivian Elementary School on August 15.

Eisa event held at a harvest festival. Many Okinawan Bolivians, other Bolivians and children took part. At the First Area Hall in Colonia Okinawa on August 16.

Okinawan Bolivians sang Shimauta at the First Area Hall in Colonia Okinawa on August 16.

At the end of the ceremony, the participants danced the kachashi. In Colonia Okinawa on August 17.

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