Okinawan Festival 2019
The 2019 Okinawan Festival was a three-day event that took place last weekend at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu. The festival featured everything of traditional Okinawan culture and arts, including food, musical instruments such as the taiko (drum), sanshin (lute), and the koto (zither), and the Obon dance.
The Okinawan Festival grew out of a cultural program initiated and organized by Hui O Laulima, an Okinawan women’s group. Their goal was to share the Okinawan culture with the public through exhibitions and demonstrations. Attracting more than 50,000 visitors annually, the Okinawan Festival has become the premier annual event of the Hawaii United Okinawa Association. Proceeds from the Festival support the HUOA’s mission of preserving, promoting and sharing the Okinawan culture.
Many Japanese people moved from Japan to Hawaii in search of a better life. They, along with other Asian immigrants, were often employed to work on sugar plantations. Today, there is a strong Japanese culture in Hawaii and it is celebrated with the Okinawan Festival.