2023/12/09: Okinawa Association to host hybrid event “John Manjiro in Ryukyu Kingdom” – Special Presentation by Yoshimasa Kamiya from Okinawa – at OAA Center and online Zoom, Saturday, Dec 9, 11AM – 12PM

The Okinawa Association of America hosts hybrid event “John Manjirō in the Ryūkyū Kingdom” – Special Presentation by Yoshimasa Kamiya from Okinawa – on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 11am – 12pm at OAA Center’s Yamauchi Building in Gardena, California and online via Zoom.

RSVP is required.

The OAA welcomes back a special guest presenter from Okinawa, Yoshimasa Kamiya. His presentation will be in English.

“John” Manjirō Nakahama is an important figure in Japanese history whose unintended voyage to the United States played a role in Feudal Japan opening up to the world. While much can be learned about Manjirō, his experiences in the U.S., and his contributions to the Japanese government, December 9th’s presentation will focus on his short time in the Satsuma Clan-occupied Ryūkyū Kingdom.

While Satsuma Clan samurai treated Manjirō and crew as criminals, the Ryūkyūan people showed immeasurable kindness and hospitality. A bilingual storybook inspired by this experience, “John Manjirō in the Ryūkyū Kingdom,” was published in 2001 by Kamiya and renowned Okinawan artist Hiroshi Gima.

Yoshimasa Kamiya is a retired Itoman City official who has done extensive research on John Manjirō. His next book, “John Manjirō: Landing in Ryūkyū Kingdom,” was released in 2021. Published by the Ryūkyū Shimpō newspaper, it summarizes 30 years of research. He translated the book into English and published that version in time for the 7th Worldwide Uchinaanchu Taikai/Festival in 2022, with the goal of introducing Manjirō’s way of life to the world.

He first connected with the OAA in 2003 to introduce his and Gima’s storybook. Ten years have passed and the OAA is excited to welcome him back!