Onaha ends his 30-year career for Radio Okinawa’s local dialect news

Onaha ends his 30-year career for Radio Okinawa’s local dialect news

On December 26, Zenjin Onaha enjoyed his last talk performance at Radio Okinawa in Naha.

December 27, 2012 Kenta Tokumoto of Ryukyu Shimpo

On December 26, 87 year-old Zenjin Onaha, who served as an announcer for Hogen News or Okinawan dialect news for Radio Okinawa for 30 years, brought his career to an end. Hoping to promote Uchinaguchi to the public, Onaha used to read the news in Uchinaguchi that he had translated from Japanese. Many young people are not familiar with Uchinaguchi, but there is increasing activity to revitalize the local dialect. Onaha now passes on to the next generation his strong desire to keep Uchinaguchi alive.

Hogen News is broadcast at 1:00pm for five minutes in a program called Tisaji Paradise, which is hosted by Hipu (Jin Maehira).

Onaha has decided to hand over his slot to a successor to Kazuo Uechi, a project coordinator of the National Theatre Okinawa. Onaha is the first son of the late Buten (Zenko) Onaha who helped to cheer up post-war Okinawan people with his humor. While Onaha humbly says, “I am nothing in comparison to my father,” he has often displayed his sense of humor in his interaction with Hipu.

Onaha looked back his 30 years saying, “I am sure that Uchinaguchi contributes to Okinawan arts and culture. I have always tried to translate things into in comprehensible Uchinaguchi for young people.”

In his last broadcast, on December 26, he received many messages from listeners who had enjoyed Onaha’s calm and well-pronounced Uchinaguchi through the years. He said, “I am very happy, and will continue to promote the use of Uchinaguchi.”

(English translation by T&CT, Megumi Chibana and Mark Ealey)

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