Yomitan Club was formed in 1927 to promote friendship and mutual aid among the members in the spirit of yuimaru. The founding group of 51 adults and 125 children established a community with the goal to enhance and encourage the welfare and advancement of one another after migrating far from their home country to Hawaii.
Originally known as Yuntanza Son Jin Kai, the Club was re-established as Yomitan Son Jin Kai after WWII. Today, the Club goes by the official name Yomitan Club of Hawaii.
In 1951, Yomitan Club became one of the founding club members for Hawaii United Okinawa Associates (HUOA), which serves as the umbrella organization for 50 member clubs statewide. To learn more about HUOA, visit their website.
Yomitan Club Then and Now
In the early years, the board was comprised of only men; and meetings were held in the homes of the presiding President. To encourage members to attend meetings, a tanomoshi group was established and more members did show up along with refreshments and more fun. In time, a new venue for meetings was found at Victoria Inn in Kaimuki. Spouses and interested members were welcomed to the meetings, which was a turning point when more sansei men and women joined in and began serving on the board. The nisei members emphasized the Club's objectives and philosophies set by our founders and advised the sanseis to continue on in the Yomitan spirit and have fun.
Through dedication, camaraderie, strength, and generosity by individual members today the membership has grown with approximately 335+ member families. As the Club continues on, the members are looking forward to celebrating its 100th Anniversary in 2027.
Special Contributions to Okinawa
Harry Shinichi Gima
After the Battle of Okinawa, the late Harry Shinichi Gima, son of the late Shinyu and Kamado Gima, worked for the U.S. Military in Okinawa from 1950 until his passing in 1986. While visiting the Himeyuri- no-tou, he was deeply touched and wanted to do something to help. He was able to purchase vacant land next to the Himeyuri Monument and donated that land, enabling the construction of the Himeyuri Peace Museum. To honor Mr. Gima for his generosity and noble gesture.
Francis Yoshio Uechi, Sr.
With a strong desire to help rebuild Okinawa after the war, the late Francis Yoshio Uechi, Sr., a construction contractor and member of Yomitan Club, moved to Yomitan, Okinawa, where he obtained U.S. Government contracts. His strong policy was to give the jobs to the people of Okinawa. After ten years, he fulfilled his goal of helping in the redevelopment of Okinawa and Yomitan Village and returned to Hawaii.