College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

World Languages and Cultures

Koza Riots Discussion

Photo by: Kazuo Kuniyoshi
Koza Riots image, 1970

"On December 20, 1970, Okinawan protests against US military rule turned violent. On the fiftieth anniversary, the Okinawa Memories Initiative (a public history collaboration between UCSC, CSUMB, CSUEB, and Okinawan universities) will host a public discussion about the “Koza Riots,” featuring an eyewitness photojournalist, an American army veteran who had been stationed in Okinawa, and Okinawan American scholars reflecting on race and the meaning of the event for other movements like Black Lives Matter.

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

The event will kick off with remarks from Alan Christy, Director of the Okinawa Memories Initiative. We will then journey LIVE to Okinawa, where we will hear from Kazuo Kuniyoshi, who will speak with Japanese journalist Tomoko Kubota about his experience on the streets of Koza as a photojournalist and resident of the city during the uprising. 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 writer Stan Rushworth and CSUMB's own Dustin Wright, Associate Director of OMI, who will discuss Mr. Rushworth’s experiences as a Native 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.

The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz is hosting the event, which will also feature simultaneous Japanese-English interpretation provided by folks at MIIS.