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500 Okinawan descendants hold parade

Date Posted: 1998-08-21

More than 500 people of Okinawan descendants took part in a parade to commemorate Okinawan immigration to Argentine in Buenos Aires, Sunday. The parade was a part of the ceremonies commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Okinawa - Argentine immigration.

Taking part in the parade were representatives of the Ryukyu Kingdom Matsuri Daiko Group, Ryukyu Dance Group, Okinawa Karate Association, World Uchinachu Business Association and officials representing Okinawa Prefecture.

In her speech, Okinawa Vice Governor Mitsuko Tomon said that "This parade reflects the proud heritage of the Ryukyuan culture."

World Uchinanchi Business Association held its "Argentine Conference" at a Buenos Aires hotel on the same day, deciding to work to make tighter ties between Okinawan organizations around the world. At the conference, Chairman of Brazil Uchinanchu Association, Jorge Yonamine lamented the lack of cultural identity among Brazilian of Okinawan descent. "In Brazil, we cannot hear or speak Japanese language. That's why especially the younger generation do not understand their identity as Okinawans," he stated.

It was also decided that the next year's Uchinanchu conference be held in Las Vegas. The year 2000 conference will be held in Okinawa.

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