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Revisiting The Koza Uprising in Global Perspectives/ オンラインセミナー「コザ騒動を世界の視点で」

December 19, 2020 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm  |  Virtual Event


Fifty years ago this December, Okinawan protests against US military rule turned violent for the first and, so far, only time. On the anniversary, the Okinawa Memories Initiative will host a public discussion about the “Koza Riots,” featuring an eyewitness photojournalist, an American army veteran who had been stationed in Okinawa and two Okinawan American scholars reflecting on race and the meaning of the event fifty years on in the days of Black Lives Matter.


The event will kick off with remarks from Alan Christy, Director of the Okinawa Memories Initiative. We will then journey to Okinawa, where we will hear from Kazuo Kuniyoshi, who will discuss Mr. Kuniyoshi’s experience on the streets of Koza as a photojournalist and resident of the city on the night of December 20, 1970. Their conversation will feature photographs taken by Mr. Kuniyoshi that night as well as a tour of the district as it is today. The conversation will continue between Stan Rushworth and Dustin Wright, Associate Director of OMI, who will discuss Mr. Rushworth’s experiences as an American soldier stationed in Okinawa during the Vietnam War. Finally, we will hear from Alexyss McClellan-Ufugusuku and Wesley Ueunten who will discuss the meaning of the Koza Riot/Uprising from the perspective of the global Okinawan diaspora. The program will also feature music by Wesley Ueunten, Francis Wong and Scott Oshiro as interludes between interviews.


オキナワ・メモリーズ・イニシアティブでは、コザ暴動が起きてちょうど50年となる12月20日、朝9時半から11時までオンラインでイベントを開催します。コザ“暴動”を実際に取材した写真家國吉和夫さん、沖縄に駐留した経験のある退役米軍人、沖縄系アメリカ人の研究者など多彩なゲストを招き、コザ“暴動”が起きた背景、その後の沖縄への影響、さらに、コザ“暴動”を通して、ブラック・ライヴズ・マター(Black Lives Matter)など現在世界に波及する人種差別抗議運動についても考えます。ぜひご参加ください。






Stan Rushworth was born during WW2, and served in the military in Okinawa during the early years of the Vietnam War. He has lived and worked in highland Guatemala, Hawaii, and has been teaching English in Northern California for the last 30 years, with focus on Indigenous issues. He is the author of Sam Woods American Healing (1991), Going to Water: The Journal of Beginning Rain (2014), and Diaspora’s Children (2020). He is a citizen of the Chiricahua Apache Nation, is married, and is a grandfather.

Dustin Wright is a historian (UC Santa Cruz, 2015), co-director of the Okinawa Memories Initiative, and assistant professor in the School of World Languages and Cultures at California State University, Monterey Bay. His work has been published in Gastronomica, The Japan Times, The Sixties, Critical Asian Studies, and Sekai (世界). He is currently writing a book tentatively titled Protest Nation: Anti-Base Struggle and the Fight for Peace in Modern Japan.

Alexyss McClellan-Ufugusuku is a PhD student in the History Department at UC Santa Cruz and serves on the leadership team for the Okinawa Memories Initiative. Lex is a mixed-race Shimanchu from San Diego and her research focuses on the politics of formal Indigenous people’s recognition for the Shimanchu (Ryukyuan) people by the government of Japan and the United Nations. She has a forthcoming article in The Avery Review about the July Fourth party outbreak of the coronavirus in Uchinaa as framed through the UN Declaration on the Rights on Indigenous Peoples.

Please stay tuned for  Kazuo Kuniyoshi, Tomoko Kubota, and Wesley Ueunten bios coming soon.

The Humanities Institute is exploring the theme of Memory. We encourage everyone—current students, alumni, staff and community members—to join us for what will be an insightful and informative event.

Organized by the Okinawa Memories Initiative and co-sponsored by the Humanities Institute.


December 19, 2020
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm