People Group Profiles

“All nations will come and worship before you."

- Revelations 15:4

Okinawan of United States

People Group Info

Total Population: 14,000

ROP3 Code: 101932
IMB Affinity Group: East Asian Peoples
Affinity Bloc: East Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Japanese
Language: Central Okinawan - (ryu)
Religion: Buddhism
Country of Origin: Japan

Photo courtesy of Joshua Project. By Donna Arsenault

Majority Located Where

  Honolulu, HI - 14,000

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Brief Profile

The Okinawan people migrated from Okinawa, Japan to North America. The Okinawa islands consist of Okinawa-jima, the most populated island with over 1.2 million, and four smaller populated islands: Iheya-jima, Izena-jima, Ie-jima and Kume-jima.

Being “Okinawan” comprises various essential symbols and rituals. These include various words and phrases in the now almost-obsolete Okinawan dialect, an Okinawan name, various Okinawan dances and music and Okinawan food. There are also several definitions of the Okinawan character in that Okinawans are not punctual, but happy, lively and more upfront in coversations than Japanese mainlanders.

Traditional Central Okinawan foods consist of tofu champuru (stir-fried tofu and vegetables), somin champuru (stir-fried noodles and vegetables), and sunui (seaweed in vinegar).

Okinawan Buddhism is mixed with a variety of animistic practices.

Prayer Points

  • The evangelical presence among Okinawans worldwide is less than 1%. Pray Okinawans will listen as God works to bring them to himself.
  • Pray Christians will intentionally form relationships with Okinawans, invting them into their homes to experience Christians living out their faith in word and deed.
  • Pray for the few evangelical Okinawans to grow strong in their faith, sharing Christ with their family and friends.

Learning Resources

Learn more about "Learning Paths"
Online Courses for embracing, encountering and engaging diaspora people. Work at your own pace. Begin anytime and complete the course according to your schedule. Interactive, Hands-On Application.

Learn more about "Reaching the Nations"
This book delineates five disciplines Christians should develop in order to effectively reach the nations. More specifically, it will guide Christians to develop an engagement strategy in their locale.

World Religions - Beliefs Overview
An overview of major world religions and cults - their beliefs and practices.

Other Resources

Prayer Guide for Unreached Peoples
A 30 day guide to pray for unreached people groups.

Prayer Guide using the GOSPELS acronym
A prayer guide that utilizes the acronym GOSPELS to pray for workers among diaspora.

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Country City Metro Area Name State / Prov. Baseline Population
United StatesHonoluluHonoluluHI14,000