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Okinawan Roots: Hawaii United Okinawa Association and Jikoen

Jikoen’s Okinawan Roots

Hawaii United Okinawa Association and Jikoen
A member story by Warren Higa

The new temple and social hall on School Street became the headquarters of the Hawaii United Okinawa Association (HUOA) for many years until the new kaikan was built at its present site in Waipio. The ministers, Rev. Jikai Yamasato and Rev. Chikai Yosemori welcomed the UOA members to use the facilities for meeting space, office space, social gatherings and public functions. They were generous in welcoming the HUOA members.

Jikoen Social Hall during a BWA function. Photo by Ruth Tokumi.

The ‘Okinawan Memorial Hall’ at Jikoen today. It was once the venue for many HUOA activities.

Committee meetings, board meetings and luncheons were held regularly. People began to associate Jikoen as the meeting place for all Okinawan activities. The social hall was funded generously by members of the Okinawan community. For this reason, the hall was named “Okinawa Memorial Hall.”

As the years went by, Jikoen’s storage space grew to beyond capacity as its membership grew. And so Rev. Jikai Yamasato asked the HUOA members to seek a more spacious location as its headquarters. Thus, the search for a new site was started and today HUOA proudly stands tall on its own.

Many HUOA old-timers have not forgotten Jikoen as its original site and continue to support the temple.