The Association has an interesting history. It is a large organization of over 40, 000 members and acts as an umbrella group for 50 member clubs statewide. The Association, formed in 1951, played an important role in the Okinawa recovery efforts following the Second World War by sending clothes, livestock and other essentials. In fact, Okinawa (Japan’s southernmost island) was governed by the United States military from the end of WWII to 1972, when it was returned to Japan. During this time, The United Okinawan Association was acknowledged as the official representative of the Okinawan people in Hawaii.
The member clubs of the HUOA are made up of people whose ancestors immigrated to Hawaii from Okinawa. The aim of the Association is to, “preserve, perpetuate and promote the culture of Okinawa.”