Purple Ipe as a symbol of appreciation

Purple Ipe as a symbol of appreciation

Holding the purple-colored Ipe he has been growing, Akihiro Yonashiro said, “I’d like to thank my friends who have supported the exchange between Brazil and Okinawa.”


February 23, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo


In hopes of sending them as a token of his appreciation to those who have supported the cultural exchange, Okinawa Brazil Network Amigo Association President Akihiro Yonashiro, age 74, has been growing more than 200 pots of Ipe, or purple trumpet trees, at his home in Motobu, Haebaru.

The association fosters exchange between Okinawa and Brazil.

Yonashiro says, “We’ve received a lot of donations up to now. I’d be happy if this could be my symbol of appreciation.”

Yonashiro’s also considering asking for help with the cultivation if there are people who are interested in supporting the cultural exchange with Brazil.


Last April, Yonashiro discovered pretty purple Ipe flowers at the family home of the late Okinawa Brazil Association President Kiyonori Miyagi.

He was surprised.

He had said, “You see a lot of yellow, but I have never seen these many purple Ipe.”

After receiving a copious amount of seeds from Miyagi’s family, Yonashiro planted them in May.

The Ipe at Yonashiro’s home are now between 20 to 30 cm and continue to grow.



Over the course of 50 years, Yonashiro utilized his position as a travel agent to interact with Okinawan-Brazilians and also served as the executive director for the Okinawa Brazil Association.

This year will make 110 years since the first Okinawans immigrated to Brazil in 1908.

Yonashiro pointed out the changes in Brazil’s society.

He said, “The third and fourth generations are receiving local education and Brazil continues with the nuclearization of the family.”

He also has high hopes. He said, “We need exchange between Okinawa and Brazil more than ever. I hope that people can further their exchange between Brazil and Okinawa through the purple Ipes.”



Besides sending them as a gift to the donators, the yields from selling the purple Ipe will in turn be used for donations.

For more information, please contact the Okinawa Brazil Network Amigo Association at 098 (867) 3304.



(English translation by T&CT and Chelsea Ashimine)


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