Andres Higa (A founder of World Uchinanchu Day, third generation Okinawan-Argentinian)
I’m from Argentina, my name is Andres Higa. Currently, I work at Nago International Association. I came to Okinawa almost 11 years ago. I graduated from Meio University and continued to stay in Okinawa. One of the reasons why Tadashi Isa and I established Uchinanchu Day is because we wanted to preserve Uchina culture and at the same time we didn’t know how to continue conveying Okinawan culture. So, one of the solutions was to establish a day in the Uchina calendar, a day to remind everyone to think about how to preserve their own culture.
I am working with Tadashi Isa at the moment, hoping to build the Uchina Network a little deeper and stronger, in fact, I am trying out through student summit and also on the Uchinanchu Day. Not only us but cities and towns of Okinawa as a whole is moving towards that trend, such as holding exhibition on Okinawan emigrants and many World Uchinanchu Day related events. I truly think this is an amazing outcome.
I was concerned about how the third, fourth and fifth generations will continue the Uchina culture outside of Japan. However, now that there are a variety of programs organized by the prefecture or each region providing exchange systems, the idea of trying to preserve Okinawa is gradually spreading across the sea. I am relieved to know that, and hoping to see many more good outcomes in the future. I am also hoping the existent network will grow stronger, so I require everyone’s insight, power and “jinbun”. Let’s think and work together! Yutashiku Unige-sabira.