Uchina Columnウチナーコラム

Yayoi Ota 2019 Exchange Student Sponsored by the Prefecture


Yayoi Ota


My name is Yayoi Oota. I am from Bolivia. I am from a town in Bolivia known as Okinawa Uno. It is often called another Okinawa.

In Okinawa Uno where I live, I am a third generation of Okinawan decent, but, my grandmother and grandfather came from Japan after the end of the war to Bolivia. There they built a town. There is a school there, and also a Japanese language school. There are also a lot of Japanese style activities and events like Ekiden marathons and Exercise Days, and even the Seijin-Shiki coming of age festival. These are ceremonies, events, which we do not usually have in Bolivia.


The reason why I decided to study in Japan was, well it’s a little embarrassing but, a while back I finished school, and from there I stopped studying Japanese. I began to think that studying Japanese again properly was something very important, and so I came. Outside of that I wanted to learn more about Japanese culture, as well as Okinawan culture and history. So I came to study in Okinawa.

Current activities

Right now I am studying at The University of the Ryukyus. Outside of studying, I am memorizing the history and culture. I am going to visit various historical places in Okinawa, and studying the history, and culture. It is really fun! Other than that, when I have free time I like to take walks to various places around Okinawa.

Future Outlook

I would like to strengthen my Japanese language ability, I can also speak Spanish, and English so I would like to try and do translation and interpretation. In doing that, I would like to try and close the distance between Japan and Bolivia.

A Message to the Youth

Of those who are of Japanese descent today, there are probably many who are 3rd and 4th generation. For them, probably, it may be difficult for them to feel Japanese. But, I want everyone to try their best, and not forget their roots.


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