Okinawa 101 (PCD1 Requirement): Uchinaa, Uchinaanchu, Uchinaaguchi


Friday, September 27, 2019 - 14:00 to 16:00


C700, Lab3


Session format: 2 hours session

Speaker: Byron Higa,

Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan Language) Instructor at Well Culture School

Research Fellow, Community Research Center, Okinawa University


Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan language) instructor

  • Classes offered at Well Culture School in Maji, Naha. Every 1st and 3rd Saturday 9:30-11:00 am
  • Uchinaaguchi lessons at universities in Japan and overseas (the University of Duisburg-Essen Germany, Gakushuin University, Meisei University, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa University), local high schools, and at public lectures. Guest lecture at University of Hawai'i, Tokyo Women’s Christian University, Sophia University, Eiko Gakuen Junior and Senior High Schools, etc.

MC and sanshin singer

  • MC and sanshin performances at wedding receptions, birthday celebrations and other various events.

Books and writings

  • NHK: Script for TV program “Let’s Play in Uchinaaguchi”.  
  • Okinawa Times: Uchinaaguchi essays on Warabii. Uchinaaguchi translations of news articles biweekly.
  • Ryukyu Shimpo: Byron’s uh-huh Uchinaaguchi (columns series and YouTube videos).
  • Kenkyuusha: “Real phrases in Okinawan” published in August 2019.
  • Uchinaaguchi dictionary


  • My life story is featured in ‘Power On’ English Textbook for Japanese High Schools.  Chapter 8: Mr. Fija and Uchinaaguchi


REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Deadline is Sep 20th. 60 participants max. In case there are more than 60 people registered, a waiting list will be created. 

*This event is only for class2019/2018 this time*

Online registration is now closed


About the speaker: 


Born in Naha in 1969, grew up in Koza, Okinawa-city (Citizenship: Japanese). He has never met his American father, his mother is from Kin-cho, Okinawa. His mother’s brother and his wife took him into their family register soon after his birth. His uncle and aunt had told him that they were his biological parents, but he learned about his biological mother when he was in 5th grade.

He went to Yamauchi Elementary School and Junior High School in Okinawa-city, then graduated from Chubu Technical High School. Until he went to the United States and UK to study at age of 22, he did not speak English at all.

He played Sanshin, a three-string Okinawan instrument, at age of 24 for the first time in his life. He learned uta-sanshin from Mr. Seijin Noborikawa, Okinawan folk singer, for a year, and learned Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan language) from Mr. Makishi Yasunaga, Okinawan actor, for a year.



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