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Shaping Okinawan Identity and Community in Hawaii During World War II

Posted on May 13, 2020 in Featured News, News & Reports


Historical photograph of Honouliuli Internment Camp when it was in operation, 1943 - 1946.

Honouliuli Internment Camp, near Waipahu on the island of Oahu. Photograph by R. H. Lodge. Courtesy of Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi – Hawaiʻi’s Plantation Village Collection #2442.


Shaping Okinawan Identity and Community in Hawaii During World War II
Monday, May 18, 2020
5:30-6:30 p.m.

The King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center invites you to join Kelli Y. Nakamura and Brandon Marc Higa as they share stories about community building between Okinawan immigrants and Okinawan prisoners of war in Hawaii.

They will discuss assimilation policies enforced during Japan’s Meiji Restoration Era (1868-1912) to contextualize Okinawan people’s treatment as a minority within a minority. Then, our guest speakers will shed light on the experiences faced by Okinawan prisoners of war at Honouliuli incarceration camp, the largest and longest running detention site during WWII. Yuimaaru, a term meaning “mutual assistance and cooperation,” will be explored throughout the presentation as a custom that emerged to unify and strengthen Okinawan identity and community throughout the war. Yuimaaru continues to characterize Okinawan relationships in Japan and Hawaii today.

This program is adapted from the presenters’ recently published article in the University of California, Los Angeles’ Amerasia Journal titled, “Yuimaaru: Okinawan Prisoners of War Shape Okinawan Identity & Transnational Connections.”

The webinar will conclude with a live Q&A.

To join the live webinar, register at:

You can also view a livestream of the May 18 presentation on the Judiciary History Center’s Facebook page or YouTube channel.

For all the latest information on upcoming events, visit the King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center’s Public Programs web page at: