With no rest for the weary, on the evening we got back we were privileged to have Byron Fija come to meet with us, and speak a a special gakumun kai. His plea for help and “please tell Okinawa people they have a beautiful language”, rang out as his passion and urgent request touched many, if not all at Jikoen. “Okinawan is not a dialect, its a language!” said Byron san. He spoke and gave much hope in the revitalization of within Okinawa. However………
Byron ws bon in Okinawa, but later went to mainland Japan due to prejudice he got for being “half” His mother is Okinawa, and so is his father. He has no recollection of his father, as his father ran . Byron’s passion for his native language began with his listening to Okinawan folk music or minyo one day and realizing that he needed to learn his native tongue to solidify his identity. Byron has also received criticism other Okinawans for his efforts, but is the only one acutally doing any proactive part in trying to save Uchinaguchi.
Byron’s one plea is for us to help revitalize Okinawa . He is very good in being able to have documented his research of the language, and works hard with the schools University, ad general public. We need more people like him. You may also google his name to find many clips on youtube on him and some great audio sets in Uchinaguchi.
Thank you to Byron and Yoko for beig able to make time for our group .