University of Hawai`i Manoa Opens Center For Okinawan Studies/ハワイ大学で沖縄研究センタオプニング

cosyamazato.jpg cosnorman.jpg cosdisplay.jpg The University of Hawai`i officially opened the Center for Okinawan Studies, at the Manoa Campus. Dr. Robert Huey, Director for the Center for Japanese Studies, opened the ceremonies, followed by Norman Kaneshiro and Cheryl Nakasone performing “Kajadifu.” The Conference room in the Korean Studies Center was full to capacity by invited attendees. Governor Linda Lingle spoke and reminded everyone of the hard work of the immigrants, as well as the importance of cultural diversity in our islands. A special message was read by Dr. Katsunori Yamazato of Okinawa, who represented the president of Ryukyu University, to which UH has a special affiliation. Senator Jill Tokuda also spoke, followed by Dr. Leon Serafim, who is the acting director for the center. Following the formalities, everyone enjoyed Okinawan food in the lobby, and entertainment by Grant Murata, Kenton Odo, and June Nakama of Afuso Ryu Gensei Kai. The main attraction, however, was the exhibit of Okinawan performing arts in Hawai`i and at the Univiersity, and whose curator is Ukwanshin Kabudan’s own, Norman Kaneshiro. He worked sleepless hours gathering and designing photos and supplies for this awesome exhibit. The exhibit is titled “Mii-gusui, mimi-gusui, Sustance for the Eyes and Ears”. Its located in the first-floor bridge gallery of the Hamilton Library, and will be available for viewing through August 24th. Hopefully the center will be a tangible place for research and study, along with sharing, for the community and future generations of people wishing to help preserve our unique culture. Its up to us to be vigilant in making sure that the mission and vision on the COS will stay on track and preserve, represent and pass on the purest form of our culture possible.