Wes Nakama is a member of The Honolulu Advertiser's sports department. I didn't know he was Okinawan.
His grandmother or "baban" Goze Nakama. She came to Hawai'i from Okinawa as a picture bride in 1924 — at the end of the era's wave of Asian immigrant workers — and labored on a Maui sugar plantation with her husband. She died in April at age 103.
In many ways Okinawans' experience parallels Hawaiians' experience. Perhaps that is why they don't treat us as many Japanese have/do? Also Okinawan is NOT the same as "Japanese." When you state that (ignorance) it offends Okinawans. It's like the term "Hawaiian." It's not a regional term. It is WHO they are. Some people don't understand that.
Also Okinawans outlive Japanese AND Americans but they don't brag about it. It's funny because many Japanese despise Okinawans. I could not understand this in the islands. Now I do. However Okinawans outlive Japanese. Not by a few months... but by almost two YEARS. I bet this creates some sense of inferiority complex with many Japanese but I give Okinawans credit because Grant handed Okinawa over to Japan without their consent.
Nowadays Okinawa is under Japan rule... yet Okinawans outlive Japanese showing some superiority. Even studying karate. Not many people know that karate originated from shurite/nahate and there is a joke among martial artists. Shurite ka don't look on the ground when bowing. It's because Okinawans don't bow down to anyone while karateka look down to the ground in a submissive, inferior position but I digress.
By the way I'm neither Okinawan or Japanese. I'm just a voracious reader :O
Cross-posted to oiwi