Festival Concept

The 6th Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival – Basic Concept

1. Principle of Hosting the Festival
In the first five World Uchinanchu Festivals, alongside paying homage to the achievements of those Okinawans and their descendants who have embarked on great adventures abroad, efforts have been made in many areas including culture, economics, human resource development, and sports, with the goal of establishing and expanding the Uchinanchu Network.

The first and second festivals were held with the goal of establishing the Uchinanchu Network, and expanding and developing it as a network for international exchange that would connect all those with ties to Okinawa. With our history of emigration, which exceeds a century and crosses multiple generations, the question of inheriting the Okinawan identity has become a big topic among the overseas Uchinanchu community. Consequently, the third and fourth festivals strongly focused on these ideas of passing down the Okinawan identity and the Uchinanchu Network to the next generation.

Amidst all this, the World Youth Uchinanchu Association, founded on the heels of the most recent 5th festival, has held the “World Youth Uchinanchu Festival” overseas every year starting from 2012, and is quickly becoming indispensable as a driving force for passing down the Uchinanchu Network to the next generation. We must strive to make this issue of passing down to the next generation remains one of the big themes for the 6th festival

Given that the Okinawan identity is primarily passed down overseas by kenjinkais and similar groups in the form of cultural activities such as traditional performing arts, sanshin, and karate, with the 6th festival we would like the citizens of Okinawa to rediscover the unique culture, natural features, and history that encompass Okinawa’s so-called “soft power.” At the same time, we also wish to promote among our citizens the role that the Uchinanchu festival has played in our history of emigration and the importance of expanding and developing the Uchinanchu Network.

The principle of this festival is, by way of these efforts, “to promote Okinawan soft power both in Japan and abroad, and use our island’s charms and possibilities to open up a path to the future.”

2. Objective of the Festival
The objective of the 6th Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival is to see to the continuous passing down and development of the Uchinanchu Network, “to promote Okinawan soft power both in Japan and abroad, and use our island’s charms and possibilities to open up a path to the future,” by way of conducting projects based on the following basic policies.

[Basic Policies]
(1) To develop and pass on the Uchinanchu Network to the next generation through exchange between Uchinanchu from around the world.
(2) To increase understanding of and promote Okinawa’s unique soft power, both at home and abroad.
(3) To pass down the Bankoku Shinryo (Bridge of Nations) spirit to the next generation, and to promote travel and activities overseas.

3. Goals for Events/Programs

(1) To sustain, pass down, and expand the Uchinanchu Network, to deepen the bonds between all Uchinanchu, and to reaffirm our Uchinanchu identities.
e.g. Festival Eve Matsuri, Opening Ceremony, Closing Ceremony, Grand Finale, Municipal Welcome Events, Emigration Exhibition, Cultural and Performing Arts Exchange Events, Sports Exchange Events

(2) To deepen understanding of, develop, and pass on Okinawa’s unique “soft power” (culture, traditional performing arts, history, language, customs, landscape, beliefs, nature)
e.g. Sanshin, Ryukyu Buyo, karate, kumiodori, Eisa and other traditional performing art appreciation events, Emigration Exhibition, Shuri-Jo Festival, Shimakutubago Yabira language festival, business fair

(3) To create opportunities for Okinawan youths to look outside of Okinawa and Japan, and to promote overseas travel.
e.g. Junior Study Tour, Kaihou Yoshu Homestay Program Network Construction Project, World Youth Uchinanchu Taikai, Learn About World Uchinanchu, lectures by overseas emigrants

(4) To deepen understanding of multiculturalism and different value systems from around the world, and to promote international cooperation and the peace-loving heart of Okinawa (chimagukuru).
e.g. Learn About World Uchinanchu, World Bazaar, Champloo Exchange Festival,, World/Peace/Future Exhibit, Peace Studies/Tree Planting Tour, Okinawa Peace Prize Award Ceremony

(5)To gain an understanding of Okinawa’s appeal as a tourist destination and the appeal of its locally made products.
e.g. Industry Festival, business fair, guided municipal tour.