Okinawa Prefectural Government Scholarships

(reposting from Okinawa Association of America blog🙂


Kempi students from Argentina, China, Bolivia, Peru, and U.S. participating in the Grand Sanshin Gathering during the 2016 Worldwide Uchinaanchu Festival. Photo by Maiya Gessling, provided to OAA blog.

Every year, the Okinawa Prefectural Government offers scholarships for young Okinawans (ages 18 to 35) to study in Okinawa for one year. This is a wonderful opportunity for young adults of full or partial Okinawan descent to learn about their ancestral heritage as well as develop relationships with local and international Uchinaanchu.

The program offers two options:

*Study at one of the prefecture’s universities
*Study a traditional art (e.g., sanshin, dance, textiles, lacquer, sanshin making, cuisine, etc.)

Application requirements include conversational Japanese skills (higher proficiency required for universities) and a relative or family friend who lives in Okinawa to act as a guarantor.

Applications are now available for Southern California applicants at the OAA office or via email by request: 310-532-1929, oaamensore@gmail.com. For those living elsewhere, please contact your local Okinawa kenjinkai or association for information. A partial list of such organizations can be found here.

The application deadline is September 11, but interested parties are encouraged to pick up and read through the application as soon as possible because it will be a highly extensive process.

Here’s a short segment from OTV (Okinawa Television Broadcasting Co., Ltd) that talks about the program and interviews one of the OAA’s nominated participants (Japanese language only):

About Travis

I am a scholar of Japanese & Okinawan history with a particular interest in the history of arts and culture, and inter-Asia interactions, in the early modern period. I am currently working on how cultural and political realities were produced and maintained through diplomatic ritual performance in Luchuan (Okinawan) embassies to the Tokugawa shogunate.
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