This year marks 70 years since seven Okinawan men from Hawai‘i accompanied a shipload of pigs to Okinawa to help provide relief for their war-torn island home following the 1945 Battle of Okinawa. The men transported the 536 Chester Whites that had been purchased in Nebraska to Okinawa in August 1948.
In a ceremony in his State Capitol office, Gov. David Ige commemorated the efforts of the seven by proclaiming Sept. 27 as “Pigs From the Sea Day.” Most of the men were Okinawan Issei who had settled in Hawai‘i in the early 1900s. They were veterinarian Dr. Yoshio Yamashiro, Ryoshin Agena, Shohei Miyasato, Ushikichi Nakama, Shinyei Shimabukuro, Genbi Tonaki and Yasuo Uezu. Uezu was the only Nisei in the group.