2013 / Chogi Higa, Okinawan culture advocate recognized with his commendation by Japanese consul general

Chogi Higa Commendation by Jun Niimi

Mr. Chogi Higa, left, received the Commendation of the Consul General from Los Angeles Consul General Jun Niimi. (Photo by Ben Higa)

On Nov. 26, 2013, the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles conferredthe Commendation of the Consul General on Mr. Chogi Higa, former Board Chair of Rafu Uwamachi Daini Gakuen Japanese language school, Okinawa Goodwill Ambassador and Okinawan language instructor.

The Commendation is designed to confer on individuals or organizations promoting mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and the United States, in support of a consulate general’s mission.

Mr. Chogi Higa was born in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, in 1940. After graduating from Futenma High School, he moved to Los Angeles, with the help of his uncle who was a resident.

While he worked for Hinode Tofu Co., he took evening courses at Woodbury University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in 1970. Upon graduation, he worked for Lucky Stores, Inc. (currently Albertsons Co.) until his retirement in 2001.

Mr. Higa has long been an active member of various Japanese American community organizations. At Rafu Uwamachi Daini Gakuen Japanese language school, he served as Chairman of the School Board for three years and contributed to nurturing youth and promoting Japanese language education.

He has also filled various posts successively in the Okinawa Association of America, Inc. and the Japanese Prefectural Association of Southern California, deepening his ties in the community.

Mr. Higa has devoted himself to promoting Japanese and Okinawan culture, including the languages, as well as passing them on to future generations. He continues to remain active, and currently teaches Okinawan language at the Okinawa Association of America Center. His work of introducing and promoting Okinawan culture in the U.S. has played an important role in presenting Japan’s multiculturalism.