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2021 T-shirt Contest Winner:
Morris Umeno

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The focus of this design is the Okinawan spirit (aloha). The late Takeshi Onaga, Governor of Okinawa, described it as living proud, honoring the hard work and adversity of our ancestors, and insuring the happiness of future generations.


This is reflected in HUOA President Patrick Miyashiro’s theme, Chimugukuru Tiichi, “All Hearts Unite as One.” The design contains symbolic references. The enso circle, oneness of life, is created with a single clockwise brushstroke that visually moves counterclockwise. I interpret this as “moving forward with respect to the past.” The minsaa pattern is culture, the fabric that binds us together.


The arts express our thoughts and feelings. History and tales of the past, represented with shiisaa, provide a solid foundation for the future. The shaka sign and rubber slippers identify the people of Okinawa and Hawaii. The yellow hibiscus, associated with good luck and fortune, radiates sunshine and happiness. Earth tone colors depict the four elements that are essential to life: Fire, Water, Air and Earth. We honor, celebrate and perpetuate the Okinawan Spirit.

-Morris Y. Umeno

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