Sat. April 6, 2-4PM
BEYOND TRAUMA, MY CRY FOR OKINAWA
Discussion with Ms. Teiko Yonaha-Tursi and Hideko Otake
Disasters produce trauma and force people to struggle in order to survive. Teiko Yonaha Tursi, an Okinawan, experienced the fierce battle of Okinawa and the immense suffering of the indigenous island, as it was abandoned by Japan and eventually put under control of the US military, as though it was a colony. Teiko later faced anothertrauma. Her happy marriage life was suddenly shuttered by the passing away of her husband, a US military serviceman and Vietnam veteran. Teiko will talk about how she empowered her own life and managed her own tragedy by advocating for her clients at a mental health center, and helping them cope with their own traumas.
Hideko Otake will report about Henoko, Okinawa, where the reclamation for the construction of a new US military base continues, despite overwhelming opposition by the local residents. The construction will destroy the beautiful surrounding oceanic life which includes more than 200 endangered species. A short video “Okinawa, the Island of Resistance,” directed by Hanayo Oya which premiered at the International Conference against US/NATO Military Bases in Dublin, Ireland last November, will be shown. Raging Grannies will perform the song, “No Place Like A Base”.
Ms. Teiko Yonaha-Tursi, MSW Born 1941, from Nago, Okinawa. WWII survivor; Worked at American Newspaper Co. in Okinawa until she moved to the U.S.A. due to marriage in 1964; Overseas reporter for the Okinawa Times since 1992; Obtained MSW from Widener University, Pa.; Retired from the career in 2004 from Mental Health Center, N.J.; Served as president of the Okinawa American Association of N. Y. for 10 years in the past; New York Area Liaison; 2006 appointed-Goodwill Ambassador by the Okinawa Prefectural Government; 2011 awarded with the Lifetime Achievement award by the Okinawa Government; International Social Activist. A mother of 3 grown children and a grandma of 4.
Hideko Otake was born and raised in the mainland Japan. After working as the editor-in-chief of a then cutting-edge cultural magazine in Tokyo, she fell in love with New York and moved there to Manhattan in 1983. As an independent editor, writer and translator, she has contributed to various progressive media including Democracy Now! Japan and Le Monde Diplomatique Japan. Her current focus as a writer is on activism, especially the people’s resistance to stop the construction of a new US military base in Henoko, Okinawa. She is a co-founder and co-editor of Stand With Okinawa USA.