INFO Women's History Month — Okinawa Edition (2020)

Women's History Month — Okinawa
Women's History Month — Okinawa Edition (2020)


Okinawa.Org Staff
Although Women's History Month (March 1–March 31 of 2020) isn't a traditional or recognized 'month' of reflection and celebration in Japan, or Okinawa, as far as I am aware, I felt as if I should spread a little information about the women of Okinawa. This includes those past and present that made a difference or had an impact or influence on society here.

Some stories may stem from the trials, tribulations, and suffrage that women might've gone through and the outcome of that, to even successful women today that are of Okinawan descent (ウチナンチュ - Uchinanchu – of Okinawan people).

If you're aware of any woman in Okinawa that deserves some form of recognition for whatever it may have been, from as little as volunteering in their respective communities to actions that went unnoticed, feel free to respond with a little information on them here. Alternatively, you can also privately contact us using the "Contact Us" page if you're not a member or use the Contact Okinawa.Org Support forum so there can be some private back and forth discussion on the forum itself.

I will try to make a couple of posts throughout the month in regarding women that made an impact of some kind in Okinawa, and you're more than welcome to join in the discussion as well! :)
The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of Okinawa.Org.


Okinawa.Org Staff
While there have been many women in Okinawa that have played great roles throughout history, I would like to begin with the closest and most recent example that comes to mind as being a resident of Naha. I believe she still has places to go in her career. That said, we will recognize many different women of all different eras and lifestyles lived.

A bit of history first...

The capital of Okinawa was recognized as Naha City after the replacement of the Ryukyu Kingdom with the Ryukyu Domain in 1872.

After the 1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement, Okinawa was finally returned to Japan after 27 years under U.S. administrative control on May 15, 1972. It was on this day that the first mayor of Naha City, the capital of Okinawa, was Chobyo Yara.

Naha City would not see its first female mayor, Mikiko Shiroma, until November 18, 2014. She is currently serving her second term in office.

The first female Mayor of Naha City, Okinawa, Japan (32nd sitting)

Naha City Mayor Shiroma could very well follow in the political footsteps of her Mayor predecessor, Takeshi Onaga, which was elected as the 7th governor of Okinawa (10 December 2014 – 8 August 2018), quite possibly becoming the first female governor of Okinawa too.


Okinawa.Org Staff
On March 8, Women's International Day, I'd like to share a little information on Okinawa born Mika Miyazato. While she may not be recognized by many, she is still one of the best LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) golfers.

By Keith Allison from Baltimore, USA - Ai Miyazato, CC BY-SA 2.0,

The height of her golfing career was between 2010 and 2013.

She nabbed her first win of the JLPGA tour during the Japan Women's Open—one of the richest tournaments of the Japan LPGA tour with a prize of 140 million yen (approx. $1.3 million USD)—in 2010 with a margin of victory of 6 strokes. Her second win during the Japan Women's Open came in 2013 with the slimmest margin of victory of just 1 stroke!

However, between those two victories, she took the win on the LPGA tour during the Portland Classic (Safeway Classic), the oldest continuously running tournament on the LPGA tour. The purse for that win was $1.5 million.

The 2012 year was also her highest achievement, ranking #10 in the Women's World Golf Rankings.

Mika Miyazato is having an amazing career as a professional golfer with smaller tournament wins and purses.

Unrelated to Mika, now retired (2017) Ai Miyazato—also Okinawa-born—had an incredible career with 25 professional wins with combined purse winnings of 418,072,622 yen ($4 million USD).

By Wojciech Migda (Wmigda) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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