Deigo Club members gathered at Masa’s Cafeteria on March 13 for the club’s 67th annual shinnen enkai. The late afternoon program began with the observance of a moment of silence in memory of deceased members.
It has been 67 years since the Deigo Club chose Okinawa’s deigo flower as the name for their club. The Deigo Club was established in 1949 by kibei-nisei of Okinawan ancestry. Meetings and social gatherings were held at the old Waialae Shogakko. Today, most of the club members are shin-issei, new immigrants from Okinawa who settled in Hawai‘i after World War II. Although Hawai‘i is now their home, they maintain their ties to Okinawa through cultural programs and friendships.
The shinnenkai program featured Okinawan music by Grant “Sandaa” Murata and Kenton Odo, both teachers of Afuso Ryu sanshin; koto by Yasuko Arakawa-Sensei, the club’s president, and her students; and sanshin students Mark and Hanae Higa. Deigo Club members also shared performed Okinawan group and individual dances.