People of Okinawan ancestry overseas exceed 400,000
The Exchange Promotion Section of Okinawa Prefecture has drawn a summary of estimates on the number of persons tracing their ancestry to Okinawa now living overseas.
The summary concludes up to 415,361 such persons are alive prior to the upcoming 6th Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival. The number has increased by 16,000 since the previous festival was held in 2011, and exceeds 400,000 for the first time. It’s also 1.5 times more than the 270,000 estimated at the time of the 1st festival in 1990.
It’s now less than two weeks to go to the festival, and about 7,000 people from outside of the prefecture have pledged to participate in the festival as of Wednesday.
The number of overseas Okinawans is estimated from data of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, local overseas Japanese societies, as well as the data from an investigation Okinawa Prefecture has conducted before.
According to Okinawa Prefecture, there are 92 Okinawa Kenjinkai (Associations of People from Okinawa Prefecture) in 26 counties and one region. The largest is in Brazil that has 162,892 members, while Kenjinkai in the whole South America have 258,059 members. In North America, the Kenjinkai members number 108,713.