Building 640 at the Presidio in San Francisco

Building 640 at the Presidio in San Francisco
Information Source for the Military Intelligence Service Historic Learning Center

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Okinawan Diaspora

On Saturday, April 9, 2011 from 2-4 p.m., NJAHS hosted a book signing event for Ronald Nakasone's book Okinawan Diaspora. Nakasone first wanted to learn more about the Okinawan culture in honor of his mother. He released this book two years after the hundred year commemoration of when the Okinawans first immigrated to Hawaii in 1900. Although it is unsure where exactly the Okinawans came from, many believe they came from many countries and mixed together. They are a very spiritual civilization who have many native myths and songs. Although the Okinawans are a small culture they are still alive due to the fact that they are always threatened. Their culture and traditions are successfully perpetuated from generation to generation.
After Nakasone's discussion of his personal experiences as a Japanese American and his book Okinawan Diaspora, Rosalyn Tonai helped facilitate a Q&A session with the audience. Most were from the Bay Area and a few had ties to Hawaii. People continued to trickle in after the event started. At most, there was thirty people sitting in NJAHS listening to Nakasone speak. Wesley Uenten, a San Francisco State University professor also shared some traditional Okinawan music as well on his musical instrument, the sanshin.
Overall, my experience of helping out with this book signing event for Nakasone's book Okinawan Diaspora was an enjoyable one. More people than I expected showed up which was nice. Perhaps since the Cherry Blossom Festival was going on too, more people walking by happened to just stumble on into the gallery. Nakasone was upbeat and enthusiastic, throwing in some jokes here and there. The atmosphere was very laid back. The lovely event ended with the audience singing along with Wesley as he played. 

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