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Research team starts study of Okinawan emigrants

Date Posted: 2002-09-06

A team of 17 junior high school and high school teachers and two professors from the University of the Ryukyus embarked on a research trip to the U.S. on Aug. 6. The team is scheduled to conduct a three-year study on people from Okinawa who emigrated to the States. The research is funded by grants from various American and Japanese foundations.

At their firs stop in Los Angeles the team went to work right away interviewing some 12 Okinawan descendants in the Okinawan Society Hall in Los Angeles. The team continued similar interviews in San Fransisco from Aug. 10.

Eventually the team will compile their findings in a book that will be published once the study is completed. But some wishes from the American-Okinawans emerged right away. “One of the strongest wishes from Okinawans living here was a request to arrange scholarships so that their children could come over to Okinawa to study,” Professor Susumu Yamauchi, the leader of the team said. “They are also very positive about the World Uchinanchu Festival that the prefecture is organizing every four years. They definitely want that to continue, as it gives them a good purpose to visit the home islands of their parents and grandparents,” Yamauchi said.

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