Okinawa – Still Seeking Self-DeterminationOctober 16, 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Mānoa Campus, EWC Burns Hall room 3015/19
PACIFIC CONNECTIONS via video-conference with University of French Polynesia
Okinawa – Still Seeking Self-Determination Megumi Chibana and Kyle Kajihiro, chaired by Joyce Chinen
Okinawa broadly refers to a geographical island chain between Kyushu (Japan) and Taiwan and is the southernmost and most recently added administrative region of Japan. Since 1996, people from Okinawa have started articulating their indigenous rights to self-determination under international law. In this small island chain in the Pacific Ocean, pressured by both Japanese and American foreign policies, homegrown Okinawan cultural, economic, and political development efforts have long been trivialized and even ignored outright. The recent wave of globalization have helped galvanize a modern Okinawan self-identity in line with the global indigenous movement. The panelists will trace important historical and social background and Okinawan narratives to discuss how a self-determination movement could possibly help Okinawans to rethink "domestic issues" that they have been struggling to solve. The discussion will also address transnational histories and politics of affinity and solidarity between Okinawa and Hawaiʻi.
Joyce Chinen is the director of the UHM Center for Okinawan Studies and professor of sociology at UH West Oʻahu. Megumi Chibana was born and raised in Okinawa. She is currently pursuing a PhD in political science with concentration on indigenous politics. Kyle Kajihiro is a graduate student in geography, a member of Oceania Rising!, and a founding member of the Hawaiʻi-Okinawan Alliance (HOA). This seminar is cosponsored by the Center for Okinawan Studies and Oceania Rising!
Free and open to the public
Center for Pacific Islands Studies, Mānoa Campus