The Okinawan Genealogical Society of Hawaii Helps Family Tree Branches Come to Life

Dan Nakasone
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

What school you went?” is a common question heard in Hawai‘i when meeting a fellow “local” for the first time. That question is usually followed by, “What year you grad?” and “You know so-and-so?” In Hawai’i, it’s how we connect.

However, for Okinawans in Hawai‘i and on the U.S. continent, the question instead may be, “What city or village in Okinawa is your family from?”

For some Nikkei, this is easy to answer. There are prefectural clubs or kenjinkai throughout Hawai‘i, the mainland United States and South America, made up of people who descended from the same place of origin. Kenjinkai were formed by Issei as social or-
ganizations and immigrant support systems built on a foundation of solidarity.

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