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Okinawan Studies: Okinawan Diaspora / 沖縄の移民

This guide to introduce you to resources on Okinawa and Ryukyu.

Primary and Secondary Sources

Notes: Sometimes resources on Okinawan immigrants can be found among the Japan Studies Collection and the Hawai'i Collection. Please make an appointment with the Japan Studies Librarian and/or the Hawaii Collection Librarian.



Jin, Shigeji. Imin biburiogurafī : shoshi de miru Hokubei imin kenkyū = Imin bibliography : a guide to Japanese immigrants in Hawaii and North America (神繁司、移民ビブリオグラフィー : 書誌でみる北米移民研究) [Japanese] (Location: Hamilton Hawaiian, 5th floor, Library Use Only)

The Japanese in Hawaii : a bibliography of publications, audiovisual media, and archival collections : supplementing the bibliography, The Japanese in Hawaii by Mitsugu Matsuda and revised by Dennis Ogawa. [English] (Location: Hawaii Reference Section in Hawaii & Pacific Collections room, 5th floor, Library Use Only)

Primary sources

『南洋群島』1935年(昭和10年2月)-  1943年(昭和18年12月)

  • Location: Pacific Collection (Library Use Only)
  • Call Number:PAC DU500 .N3542 


  • Location: Pacific Collection (Library Use Only)
  • Call Number:PAC DU500 .N3542 Suppl


Secondary sources

Okinawan Immigrants to Hawai'i

Ethnic Studies Oral History Project, United Okinawan Association of Hawaii. (1981). Uchinanchu, a history of Okinawans in Hawaii. Honolulu : Ethnic Studies Program, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Shimada, Noriko. Sensō to imin no shakaishi : Hawai Nikkei Amerikajin no Taiheiyō Sensō / 島田法子、戦争と移民の社会史 : ハワイ日系アメリカ人の太平洋戦争) [Japanese]

Torigoe, Hiroyuki. Ryūkyūkoku no metsubō to Hawai imin鳥越皓之、琉球国の滅亡とハワイ移民 [Japanese]

Imin kenkyū (移民研究』 = "Immigration studies") [Japanese]  - A journal published by the Imin Kenkyu Senta at the University of the Ryukyus.

Experiences by Okinawan Immigrants in Manchuria

Yomitan-son shi (online) /『読谷村史』第5巻資料編4『戦時記録 上』. 第5節4章「満州」での戦争体験

Araragi, Shinzo. (2013). Lost homeland: colonical memories of Manchuria in Okinawa after WWII. Immigration Studies (9), 169-178.

Experiences by Okinawan Immigrants in Siberia

Yomitan-son shi (online) /『読谷村史』第5巻資料編4『戦時記録 上』. 第5節5章「シベリア抑留体験」

Okinawan Immigrants to Latin America

Yakudō suru Okinawakei imin : Burajiru, Hawai o chūshin ni (躍動する沖縄系移民 : ブラジル、ハワイを中心に』) [Japanese]

Ishikawa, Tomonori.  "Mekishiko e no Okinawa-ken shusshins imin no rekishi to jittai." (石川友紀、「メキシコへの沖縄県出身移民の歴史と実態」、『南島文化』(沖縄国際大学南島文化研究所、38巻、pp. 29-45、2016年3月)[Japanese]

Imin kenkyū (移民研究』 = "Immigration studies") [Japanese]  - A journal published by the University of the Ryukyus Imin Kenkyu Senta. Some articles in PDF are available at the University of the Ryukyus Repository.

BIDOM (= Bibliographic Information Database of Okinawa Materials) is a database created by the University of the Ryukyus Library. This is a useful tool to find more articles rand books elated to Okinawan immigrants or Okinawan Diaspora.

Brazil Imin Bunko / ブラジル移民文庫 (in Japanese only)

The site was created by a writer named Masao DAIGO (醍醐 麻沙夫). The site provides a total of 160 stories related to the immigrants from Japan to Brazil. All stories are available in PDF. 

Resources of Okinawans in Brazil at the Okinawa Prefectural Library (June 2018)

In March 2018, the Okinawa Prefectural Library (沖縄県立図書館has collected some resources written by the Okinawan immigrants to Brazil. One of them is a diary by Onaga Josei (翁長助成) with a title of "the Conditions in Post-War Okinawa." 

Digital Archives 


旧外地関係資料アーカイブ at Takuhoku University Library


Takuhoku University Library holds the resources related to the former Japanese colonies such as Manchuria, Taiwan, Mongolia, Sakhalin, Korea, and the Pacific Islands. Their digitized archival resources are now available at their site. 



Finding Aids for Materials on Japanese emigration / 「日系移民関係資料」の検索ガイド」 by the National Diet Library in Japan [English]

(日本)国立国会図書館、「日系移民関係資料」の検索ガイド」(日本語) [Japanese] 

Newspapers and Journals published in Hawai'i

  • Jitsugyō no Hawai (or The Jitsugyō no Hawaii) / 実業之布哇 (mostly written in Japanese)

Description: A monthly magazine published in Honolulu, Hawai'i, by Tetsuo Tōyama (當山哲夫 or 当山哲夫 or 遠山哲夫, who came to Hawai'i in 1906 from Okinawa. Tōyama was born in 1883 in Yonagusuku Magiri (与那城間切) village. In 1907 he organized an Okinawa Kenjinkai (an association for the people from Okinawa) in Kauai Island. When Kijūrō Shidehara (幣原喜重郎) visited Washington, D.C. in 1920 as a Japanese ambassador to the United States to investigate the anti-Japanese immigration problem, Tōyama also went to D.C. and attended the welcome party for Shidehara. [Source: Okinawa daihyakka jiten (=Okinawa Encyclopedia), v. 2, p. 907.]

The Hoover Institute digitized its holdings of the Jitsugyō no Hawaii as part of its Hoji Shinbun Digital Collection, which is part of the Japanese Diaspora Initiative. The list of institutions that hold this publication is below.

Okinawa Studies Librarian

Sachiko Iwabuchi 岩渕祥子's picture
Sachiko Iwabuchi 岩渕祥子
Asia Collection Department
University of Hawai'i
at Mānoa Library
Room 402
sachiko.iwabuchi [at]
(808) 956-2311