São Paulo Councilman Aurélio Nomura institutes World Uchinanchu Day in Brazil

São Paulo Councilman Aurélio Nomura institutes World Uchinanchu Day in Brazil

Councilman Aurélio Nomura sharing his thoughts on World Uchinanchu Day in an interview in Brazil.

October 18, 2020 Ryukyu Shimpo
By Akihide Celso Shiroma

São Paulo, Brazil—On July 20, law nº 17,395 went into effect, adding World Uchinanchu Day to the city’s Official Calendar of Events. The text of the measure states: “With the purpose of carrying on the legacy of Brazil’s Okinawan pioneer immigrants through debate and preservation of Okinawan traditions and values, October 30 shall be designated World Uchinanchu Day.”

The bill, submitted in 2019, was authored by São Paulo City Councilman Aurélio Nomura. Nomura said, “Like the Okinawa Festival, adding World Uchinanchu Day [to the São Paulo Official Calendar of Events] is a significant symbol of gratitude and respect for the Okinawan contribution to our immigrant population and development of São Paulo.”

According to Claudia Sayoko Iha, a Naha-City nisei and aide to Councilman Nomura, the bill passed unanimously. The council also heard from members of the Okinawan community.

At Nikkei community events, there are spaces where politicians and delegates from each club can mingle. It was there that Councilman Nomura learned of the World Uchinanchu Festival and later visited Okinawa. Nomura shared that he had a “great” meeting with Okinawa’s governor and mayors during his trip.

The councilman and his family have had a long-standing relationship with Okinawan-Brazillian families of the community. While working for his grandfather at Kaigai Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha (KKKK), Nomura determined the property boundaries in Registro, located in the backlands of São Paulo; his right-hand man at the time was Okinawan. Furthermore, Nomura’s father introduced the San Vicente mayor to a Naha City politician when serving as a congressman.

Councilman Nomura said, “By instituting World Uchinanchu Day, I hope that São Paulo residents will take interest and add to our relationship with Okinawa, including tourism development.”

(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)

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