Tadashi Andres Isa (A founder of World Uchinanchu Day, third generation Okinawan-Peruvian)
Tadashi Andres Isa
My name is Tadashi Andres Isa, a third generation Okinawan-Peruvian. I was born in Peru, lived there until 18, and then I came to Okinawa the following year. I attended Meio University, and after I graduated from there, I found a spot at the university to work in the International Exchange Center. At the 2016 Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival, I was able to proclaim the “World Uchinanchu Day” but everything started when I first came to Okinawa and met Andres Higa, the other founder of Uchinanchu Day. We talked about how can we contribute to Okinawa and came up with a conclusion of uniting Uchinanchu in Okinawa and overseas together. We thought that if there is a specific day to celebrate Worldwide Uchinanchu to make everyone happy could strengthen the network for the people of Uchinanchu.
I currently work at the International Exchange Center in Meio University as an Exchange & Study Abroad Coordinator but I also do various activities to support people of Uchinanchu around the world. I also organize an annual event called World Uchinanchu Student Summit at Meio University since 2015, and this year will be the fifth event. This summit was one of the events that led to the establishment of the World Uchinanchu Day. Every year at this student summit, exchange students around Okinawa, students of Meio University and the public have the chance to interact and exchange information and give opinions to each other. It has become a very attractive event since participants now come from other parts of Japan as well as from overseas, so I dedicate myself to organize and run the event every year.
A Message to the Youth
Firstly, I would like them to cherish their roots. I didn’t know much about my own until I came to Okinawa. After coming to Okinawa, my identity as an Uchinanchu became stronger, which then stimulated me to establish the Uchinanchu Day. If you have Okinawan roots then please come to Okinawa at least once to meet your relatives, find your roots, learn about ancestors or Okinawan culture and the history, anything that interests you, because it will be useful to your identity or for your future. Just come to Okinawa and experience for yourself! I would be very happy if Uchinanchu around the world come and meet, exchange information with Uchinanchu in Okinawa.