OSHIMA ISLAND, Japan --
Residents of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and locals of Oshima Island attended the U.S. – Japan Luau Party at the Sunshine Southern Seto, Oshima Island, Japan, July 23, 2016.
The luau celebrated Hawaiian culture and the friendship between the United States and Japan through hula dancing, swimming in the ocean, games and food.
Shinichi Shishido, cultural coordinator at the Youth and Teen Center, said this luau helps spread the knowledge of Oshima’s immigrants and history.
“Today, we celebrate the history of the immigrants from Hawaii to Oshima Island,” said Shishido. “The U.S. is familiar with the Hawaiian culture so we created this event to celebrate the culture of the island and the friendship between the U.S. and Japan.”
Junko Nishida, a translator for the event, said she hopes this event helps introduce the residents of the base to new places in Japan they may not have known about before.
“We want to show the military members and children of the base, new, interesting parts of Japan,” said Nishida. “We want to introduce the children to each other showing both sides what the other’s culture has to offer. We do this through the culture of Hawaii because this island has a sister relationship with the island of Kauai, Hawaii. We share our resources, culture and much more with them. Americans seem to be very familiar with the Hawaiian culture so we invite them to celebrate our friendship so they may relax, and explore a new part of Japan.”
Marines who attended the event said it was a great way for them to relax and enjoy one of the more exotic areas in Japan.
Cpl. Tyler James Miller, a telephone systems/personal computer repairer, said this event was fun for people of all ages.
“They have activities for everyone,” said Miller. “They even have activities for kids so married Marines can bring their families and let their kids run around. My favorite part was that this was all free. You can bring some of your friends out and just have a good time.”
Miller said he attended the event with Marines from his unit to build ‘Espirit De Corps.’
“You shouldn’t isolate yourself on base,” said Miller. “Going out and interacting with new people helps build our relationship with our host nation.”
Shishido said he hopes to continue this event in the future and maybe ntroduce residents of MCAS Iwakuni to even more parts of Japan.
“We want the families to enjoy their time in Japan,” said Shishido. “We want to have as much interaction between our service members and the locals so we can start thinking of each other as family.”