A Brief History on the Origin of Hui Makaala
By Millie Moriyama with the assistance of Ruth Adaniya
(reprinted from an article in 1982)
“Akisamiyo. Warabata ya nun naransa” (Goodness! Children are good for nothing). Okinawan nisei may have occasionally heard the issei express such an opinion. But the founders of Hui Makaala felt that they, the young Japanese-Americans of Okinawan descent, were not nun naran, or good for nothing. They felt capable of playing a significant role in promoting the general welfare of the Okinawan community. So in January 1946 Hui Makaala was formed.
Besides uniting to work for the Okinawan community, Hui Makaala members created their organization to provide younger, English-speaking Okinawans a sense of belonging. At the end of World War II, this need was strongly felt by the nisei. Although the nisei could have, and did, join the Okinawan locality clubs, these clubs were limited in their capacity to fulfill this need because many were then controlled by the issei, who conducted the meetings in Japanese. With a club of their own, young Okinawans could socialize with each other and develop activities based on their mutual interests. Founders of Hui Makaala were Dr. Francis Kaneshiro, Dr. Bunkichi Uesato, Clarence Uyechi, Dr. Yoshio Yamashiro, Dr. Shoyei Yamauchi, the late Tokuichi “Dynamite” Takushi and the late John Uehara.
The first meeting of the new organization was on January 11 at the Jikoen Temple with 60 members present. The name Hui Makaala was chosen. By selecting a Hawaiian name the members identified themselves as a group belonging to the society of Hawaii. Makaala means “ever alert, vigilant, watchful.” Hui Makaala implies an organization ever alert to serve, work, and strive together. The basic goals of the group have been: 1) to foster a better understanding and acceptance of the American way of life, 2) to provide social, recreational and educational activities for members and friends, 3) to assist deserving students in their pursuit of higher education.