Gardena, CA 90247
The Young Okinawans of Southern California was founded in 1996 and is a subcommittee of the Okinawan Association of American, Inc., a non-profit organization. The YOSC is intended for OAA members who are ages 16 to 40. With the help of Hawaii's Young Okinawan Group, we developed our Rules and Regulations and Membership Form.
- To promote Okinawan cultural awareness in our youth.
- To foster goodwill and friendship for our youth through social and sports functions.
- To develop more youth involvement in the OAA activities throughout the year.
The YOSC organizes activities for Young Adults, Young Families, and Young Professionals, which represents the various interests of our members. Our past activities include Hai-Sai America - Night of Okinawan Rock featuring Mongol 800 and Bleach 03, Stories From the Past series of film screenings, Theater Night at the East-West Playhouse, Karaoke Party, Jon Nakamatsu Concert, and Akabana.
The YOSC participates in OAA events by helping wherever needed. Events we have participated in include the New Year's Party, Picnic, Undokai, and Bazaar. Our goal is to keep young adults informed of OAA activities so that they will be aware that the OAA exists for all generations. Hopefully, the future leaders of the OAA will emerge through their active participation in the YOSC.
Okinawa History and Culture
The prefecture of Okinawa is comprised of the Ryukyu Islands with the main island of Okinawa being the largest, most populated, and central point of the archipelago. The Ryukyu Kingdom was a sovereign nation and became incorporated into Japan in 1879. Following World War II, it was under occupation by U.S. forces and returned to Japan in 1972. Given that Okinawa was historically separate from Japan, there is a distinct difference in language and culture.
The Ryukyu Islands have a subtropical climate with gorgeous crystal blue waters and coral reefs. The islands are popular with scuba divers. The main agricultural products are sugar cane, pineapple, and Okinawa yams (purple sweet potatoes). The Okinawan diet is also known for its use of goya (bitter melon), pork, and spam (typical of regions that experienced American occupation). A dish currently popular in Okinawa is taco rice, where taco fillings are placed on a bed of rice instead of in a tortilla or taco shell.
For various reasons, there have been large waves of participants in Japanese government sponsored emigration from Okinawa to most notably Hawaii (since 1900), Brazil (since 1908), and Peru (since 1906). The largest concentrated population of Okinawans outside of Okinawa still remains to be in the aforementioned U.S. state and Latin American countries. Records indicate that the first Okinawan landed in North America in 1889.
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