Request from Okinawan Genealogical Society of Hawaii (OGSH)
Please share the attached information on the DNA workshop sponsored by OGSH and HUOA scheduled for Tuesday, September 26th at 7 pm at HOC. This is research done by Raplee Nobori to discover his Okinawan mother and Japanese father’s ancestry. Below is the flyer and registration form for the “Tracing Your Okinawan Ancestry through DNA” and the link to the trailer we created. He discovered interesting DNA information regarding a connection between the Ainu and Ryukuans as well as differences between Japanese and Okinawan DNA and their migration routes.
Note from Ukwanshin Kabudan
Please register for and attend this intriguing presentation on DNA mapping and migration patterns sponsored by OGSH. In promoting this great learning opportunity, however, we at Ukwanshin Kabudan would like to remind you that DNA mapping and other empirical scientific research methods are merely tools to help build the bigger picture of who we are. When used in concert with ancestral knowledge, they can be powerfully constructive; however, when wielded with little or no cultural lens, they can be extremely deceptive, even destructive. Scientific research is very much prone to Western cultural biases that, historically, have dismissed or diminished the value of ancestral knowledge of native peoples. Genetic research, in particular, has a long history of over-generalizing or mischaracterizing minority and indigenous peoples, often in line with racist beliefs. This is not to say that all scientific research should be dismissed or distrusted; rather, it is a reminder that even “objective” science can be tainted or skewed by incorrect assumptions about a group of people. In regards to DNA mapping and migration research as it applies to Okinawa, please be aware that there are some who use this type of data to dismiss claims that Okinawans are indigenous, or even a separate ethnic group. Please be clear — we are NOT insinuating this is the intent of Mr. Nobori or OGSH. However, we do want to make sure our community is aware of the rhetoric surrounding studies regarding our “ethnic origins.” Please bear in mind that “heritage”, “ancestry,” “culture,” and definitely “ethnic identity” go far beyond where the first of our gene pool came from. The vast majority of who we are as a people — including indigeneity — come from what our ancestors did in place on the lands they connected with as their parents. We hope any discussion on DNA mapping or migration research will be helpful starting points in the densely layered discussion on understanding who we are as a people.