Pigs from the Sea: Assisting the People of Okinawa After WWII
In June 1947, the Okinawa Kyusai Koseikai (United Okinawa Assistance Association of Hawaii) was formed. They collected $47,196 with which 500 sows and 50 boars were purchased from the mainland. Seven members of the group, Yoshio Yamashiro, Gyukichi Nakama, Genbi Tonaki, Ryoshin Agen, Shin’ei Shimabuku, Yasuo Uezu, and Heisho Miyasato left Portland in August aboard the military transport, John Owen with the pigs in hastily constructed pens on deck. They arrive in Okinawa 28 days later.
The 550 pigs served a large number of families in Okinawa because a novel system of continued distribution was used: as litters were obtained, a family would keep only a pair of breeding pigs and pass on the remainder of the litter to other families and the cycle would be repeated.