Happy Birthday, Toyama Kyuzo! Father of Iminchu!

Today is the birthday of Toyama Kyuzo, who is regarded as the "Father of Okinawan Emigration." Toyama was born on November 9, 1868, in Kin Town, Okinawa.

Toyama-san faced much opposition when he first proposed his idea to send Okinawans abroad. But finally, after much persuading, the first 26 Okinawans departed Naha Port for Hawaii on December 5, 1899. They would first stop at Yokohama Port, then eventually leave for Hawaii.

Since then, Okinawans have emigrated to all over the world. Today there are over 300,00 Uchinanchu around the world. These "iminchu" have built strong communities and become good members of their new countries. Toyama said, "Let us go forth. The Five Continents are our home. Sincerity and determination will uphold us."

Toyama Kyuzo passed away in 1910, at the young age of 43. His ashes are interred at Mililani Memorial Park, in Hawaii.

We would like to start a "Toyama Kyuzo no Hi" (Kyuzo Toyama Day) around the world, to be celebrated on or near his birthday of November 9th. On this day, we would like small celebrations to be held around the world, demonstrating Okinawan culture, such as Eisa, Ryukyu dance, sanshin, Karate, Okinawan food, Bingata, etc.

This year, because we just came up with the idea, we are trying to spread the word about Toyama Kyuzo via WUB (Worldwide Uchinanchu Business Association) chapters around the world. WUB Chapters will spend some time during their November meetings to give presentations about Toyama Kyuzo.

Stay tuned for more on Toyama Kyuzo, and Toyama Kyuzo no Hi.

Happy Birthday, Toyama Kyuzo! Father of Iminchu!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Dear Toyama Kyuzo! "iminchu" have built strong communities and become good members of their new countries.So, by facing opposition and hurdles he just paved smooth wayf for us now. Just after my mcts questions i will be free to join his birthday celebrations.