Did you know?: Okinawan immigrants and Hawaii

Did you know?: Okinawan immigrants and Hawaii

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

Immigrations from Okinawa to foreign countries began in full swing when 27 locals immigrated to Hawaii in 1899. Back then, many Okinawans were struggling with poverty, and they dreamed of Hawaii as a paradise. Because of this image of Hawaii as a dream-come-true land, Okinawans used the word “Hawaii” to describe something wonderful. In a local commercial for a grave site, an acclaimed musician in Okinawa says “Hawaii Yassaa,” meaning that the grave site looks great.



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