HUOA President couple busy for sister-state events

HUOA President couple busy for sister-state events

In May at Hawaii Okinawa Center on Oahu, Hawaii, HUOA president Mark Hideyuki Higa (left) and his wife, Hanae.


July 10, 2015 Sadaharu Shimabukuro of Ryukyu Shimpo

From July 10 to 12 on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, the 30th-anniversary of a sister-state affiliation between the State of Hawaii and Okinawa Prefecture was celebrated. Hawaii United Okinawa Association (HUOA), which consists of about 40,000 members, was the host for the delegation from Okinawa and the main organizer of anniversary events. The 2015 HUOA President is third generation Okinawan Mark Hideyuki Higa. He and his wife from Naha City, Hanae, were busy with preparation for the events.

Higa’s father’s side of the family is from Nago City, and his mother is from Naha City. When Higa’s father, who is second-generation Okinawan from Hawaii, was working on one of the U.S. military bases in Okinawa, he met Higa’s mother. He was born in Okinawa and has been going back and forth between Okinawa and Hawaii since his childhood. He has a jointly-run architecture business in Honolulu. His wife Hanae is a first-class architect. When she visited Hawaii eleven years ago, she met Higa.

Finding more opportunities to visit Okinawa since becoming president of the HUOA, Higa feels the connection between Okinawa and Hawaii when he returns home, receiving a warm welcome every time. When she moved to Hawaii, Hanae perpetuated Okinawan culture, sharing it with the Okinawan community living there.

HUOA presidents typically do one year of service. Higa and Hanae highlighted the word “Sumiti” (meaning ‘imprint’) from the lyrics of Tinsagu nu hana. They said that their ancestors “imprinted” wonderful culture on them. They said that this year, their goal was to think about what to do “for the next generation” and act on their ideas.

(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)

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