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Unexpected Common Ground between New Zealand and Okinawa

Tell us about your career historyI was born in Tokyo, in 1959. My parents are both fro...

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MAKOTO KINJO

President of ANZCO Foods Japan LTD.
Born in 1959, Tokyo. His parents are from Okinawa prefecture and lived in Okinawa in his youth. After graduating from New Zealand's University of Canterbury, he started working at a New Zealand food maker company.
He was assigned as a marketing manager of the Asia region. Later, in 2000, he joined ANZCO Foods LTD.
In 2003, he became the president of ANZCO Foods Japan office.

First of all, I believe that Uchinanchus have the spirit of exploration in their DNA; there is no need to be afraid, just take on whatever challenges that come to you. Secondly, when I attended the school in Yokohama, the chairman used to tell me many times, “be a person who moves the land, even if by one centimeter.”

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Aiming to Build a Bridge Between Argentina and Okinawa

What made you come to Japan?“Shima-Uta” by THE BOOM was covered by an Argentinian sing...

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CLAUDIA OSHIRO

A female singer and songwriter born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has participated in many singing competitions held by Argentinian Japanese community and has won many times. In 2001, Argentinian singer Alfred Casero made a cover record of "Shima-Uta" by THE BOOM in Japanese, where she joined as a chorus member. In 2003, she moved her music career to Japan and traveled across Europe and Latin America as member of Kazufumi Miyazawa’s solo band. In 2006, she also joined GANGA ZUMBA, a multinational band lead by Miyazawa. In 2007, she released her first album “Claudia”. In December 2014, she announced the release of her best album, “C”.

Okinawa’s old sayings and customs still live on in Argentina, so I feel that Uchinanchus living in Argentina and those living in Okinawa are not so different. That’s why when I first arrived, I knew that I came to Okinawa but it wasn’t so far from how I imagined it; I felt “Okinawa” also existed in Argentina as well.

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The Messages Within in Okinawan Minyo

How did you first come across Okinawa? My first encounter was through Okinawan folk...

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KAZUFUMI MIYAZAWA

Born in 1966 in Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture. He made his debut as the vocalist of THE BOOM in 1989. He continues to interact with Uchinanchus of Brazil as well as other parts of the world. The band’s hit song "Shima Uta" has been covered in Argentina as well as by other musicians around the world.
To pass down Okinawan minyo to the next generation, he spent four years from 2012 to make a 17-disc CD box sext titled "Utakata" that includes 245 songs from all over Okinawa. It was presented to boards and other educational institutions within Okinawa prefecture, libraries, and Okinawa kenjinkais within Japan and abroad.

I believe it is Okinawan tradition to create songs that symbolizes each era of its history, and that is the foundation of Okinawan minyo and performing arts. I think it is very wonderful to portray the perspectives of ordinary people, and turning bitterness and sadness into music and entertainment.

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Connecting Okinawa and Hawaii through Astronomy

Career history I currently work as an astronomer, and the reason I wanted to become...

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YUKO KAKAZU

A Japanese female astronomer with a specialty in galaxy formation and evolution. She is a Public Outreach Specialist for the Subaru Telescope at the NAOJ Hawaii Observatory. Born in Okinawa, Japan. Her participation in a NASA-sponsored space camp inspired her to pursue her career in space. She has held research positions at the Paris Institute of Astrophysics in France in 2008, the California Institute of Technology in 2010, University of Chicago in 2011, and at her current position since September 2013.

After realizing that Okinawa and astronomy had a very deep connection, I fell more in love with Okinawa and I felt that I was able to learn about my own identity through astronomy.

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Let’s get together and mingle, everyone!

What made you come to Okinawa? I got a plane ticket to Japan in 1985 as the win...

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ALBERTO SHIROMA(アルベルト城間)

 

The kind of music I'm aiming for is shimauta (Okinawan folk music). I would be overjoyed if one day Uchinanchu categorized our music as shimauta.

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