Japanese American Community Events
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The National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) will hold a symposium to bring together members of the Okinawan community whose lives have been directly influenced by the Battle of Okinawa and the broader community, to explore and share the lessons from the World War II battle.
The symposium, which is free of charge, is part of the exhibition and public program series entitled “Nuchi du Takara: Lessons from the Battle of Okinawa” and will be held Saturday, Jan. 29, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, 1840 Sutter St. (at Webster) in San Francisco’s Japantown.
The exhibit, which features photos, artifacts, and film footage, tells the story from an Okinawan point of view. It is on display through Aug. 14 at the NJAHS Gallery, 1684 Post St., in San Francisco’s Japantown.
Symposium speakers include: Battle of Okinawa survivors Fujiko Dandoy, the president of the Sacramento Okinawa Kenjinkai and Noriyoshi Arakaki, an Okinawa dance instructor; UC Berkeley anthropology Ph.D. candidate Mitzi Uehara Carter, the daughter of a survivor; and Military Intelligence Service veteran Frank Higashi.
Higashi, a member of the Okinawa Kenjinkai of San Francisco, was sent to Okinawa as a linguist and reunited with his younger brother, who had been drafted into the Japanese Army. Dandoy and Arakaki will speak about how the experience shaped their identity and what lessons they want to leave the next generation regarding the Battle of Okinawa.
San Francisco State University Professor and Edison Uno Institute of Nikkei and Uchinanchu Studies Co-Director Ben Kobashigawa will moderate the panel.
Musician and exhibit curator Wesley Ueunten will perform, and will be accompanied by saxophonist Francis Wong and taiko artist Melody Takata.
For more information, call NJAHS at (415) 921-5007 or visit njahs.org.