GARDENA — On Saturday, June 25, at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time, the Okinawa Association of America (OAA) will host their first information session for the 7th Worldwide Uchinaanchu Taikai/Festival in October. It will be held virtually on Zoom.
For attendees who do not have Internet access, a very limited number of in-person spots will be available at the OAA Center in Gardena.
Registration is required: http://tinyurl.com/oaa-taikai-22 (the Zoom link will be emailed to you)
Established in 1990, the Festival/Taikai is hosted by the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) and serves as a grand “homecoming” for Okinawan immigrants and descendants. Participants from Argentina to Zimbabwe have attended. This is a fantastic opportunity for Okinawans to deepen their roots as well as interact with international communities, with an extensive range of activities ranging from festive outdoor gatherings to classical theater performances; global cultural exchanges to leadership symposiums; and even tournaments for karate and eisaa drumming. Several of the activities have multilingual accessibility.
This Festival/Taikai is the only event of its kind in all of Japan. Okinawa Prefecture was once the independent Ryūkyū Kingdom and that sense of unique identity and rich cultural heritage has remained strong among Okinawan natives, those who emigrated, and descendants around the world. The first Okinawan immigrants arrived in California over a century ago.
The OAA-hosted session on June 25 will be a hybrid event with an in-person option, but virtual attendance via Zoom is highly encouraged. In-person attendees are required to RSVP (walk-ins will not be accepted), wear face masks, submit a pre-event health screening, and have their temperature taken on the day of the event.
Presenters will talk about the background of the Festival/Taikai, the registration process (which will likely be more tech-heavy than previous years), and most importantly the evolving status and risks of traveling. There will also be time dedicated for Q&A; questions that cannot be answered that day will be directed to the Festival/Taikai organizers in Okinawa.
The event will be recorded and an edited version will available at a later date upon request.
Additional info sessions will be held leading up to the Festival/Taikai (Oct. 30-Nov. 3). Although the OAA will not be handling travel arrangements, the sessions will include registration assistance for current OAA members, updates directly from OPG, and Q&A opportunities. Interested parties are also encouraged to visit the Festival/Taikai’s official multilingual website: http://wuf2022.com
The OAA is located at 16500 S. Western Ave., Gardena 90247. Limited seating and parking. Contact the OAA for more information: (310) 532-1929 (leave a message), email@example.com. The OAA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Okinawan culture. Facebook/Instagram: @oaamensore