GARDENA — On Sunday, Aug. 28, at 3 p.m., the Okinawa Association of America (OAA) in Gardena will hold its final registration session at the fifth information session for the sixth Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival (Sekai Uchinanchu Taikai) in Okinawa.
Established in 1990, the Taikai is hosted by the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) every five years and serves as a “homecoming” for the descendants of Okinawan immigrants. It will take place from Oct. 26 through 30 in Naha City.
By registering, participants will receive special passes prior to the Taikai that will serve to gain access to various events, free bus fare on certain lines, a commemorative gift from Okinawa Prefecture, and more. It is free to attend the festival, but related events may incur entrance fees. The OAA will assist in processing registration for current members for free, and a $20 processing fee for non-members.
Currently, over 224 people have registered through the OAA. Those that have registered are also invited to attend. In addition to final registration, topics at the registration and info session will include an updated schedule of events, recent program and event details, and the unveiling of L.A.’s Taikai uniform T-shirt design. Orders for the uniform will also begin.
The Uchinanchu Taikai is the only festival of its kind in Japan. Okinawa Prefecture was once the independent Ryukyu Kingdom, and that sense of identity has remained strong among Okinawan natives and Okinawans who emigrated over 100 years ago. At the fifth Taikai in 2011, a record 5,000-plus participants from the Okinawan diaspora converged in Okinawa with representatives of countries from Argentina to Zimbabwe.
The OAA is located at 16500 S. Western Ave. in Gardena. The event will take place in the OAA’s Yamauchi Building. RSVP is requested due to limited parking and seating. For more information, call (310) 532-1929 or email [email protected]