Council to offer practical courses to preserve Okinawan language

Council to offer practical courses to preserve Okinawan language

April 24, 2022 Ryukyu Shimpo

By Takuya Kayou


On April16, the prefectural council for promoting and disseminating the Okinawan language held its board meeting at the civic collaboration plaza in Naha City and decided on its activities for the fiscal year 2022. Its plan focuses on succession efforts, including publicizing the Okinawan language through YouTube and making the council’s language lectures practical by adding speaking and writing components. The proposals will be officially decided on at the general meeting on June 11.


As efforts to preserve the Okinawan language or shimakutuba have stagnated in various parts of Okinawa, the council aims to boost public interest and infuse it back into people’s daily lives. The council’s acting president Chosei Kuniyoshi said, “shimakutuba will disappear without a revival. We want to plan activities that unite the prefecture, prefectural assembly, municipalities, and educational institutions.”


The council, established in 2000, initially had approximately 300 members which dwindled to about 120. Due to Covid-19, the council has been unable to offer lectures and other events for some time. In the new fiscal year, the organization will focus on recruiting younger members and expanding its chapters, as well as launching a regional shimakutuba greetings campaign and a fwafuji (grandparents) campaign in which the elderly generation speaks to the young.


(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)


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