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EPISODE 13 🌺 Okinawa (Mis)Representation in Media

Do you remember the first time you saw Okinawa in media or pop culture? Was it represented the way you experienced it to be? How did it inform or re-inform your beliefs of what and who Okinawa/Okinawans are? Join us for a multi-dimensional conversation as we bring together three esteemed guest speakers in their fields: Risako Sakai, Elaine Cromie, and Ako Castuera. In this episode, moderated by special guest Laura Dux, we will dive into the complex topic of ‘Okinawan representation and misrepresentation in media’, and explore through each of our guests’ unique lived experiences and critical lenses spanning across academia, journalism, and entertainment.

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Laura Dux (she/her) is a 5th generation Okinawan American, originally from Honolulu, Hawaiʻi and currently residing in Los Angeles, California. Laura holds a BFA in acting & playwriting.


Risako Sakai (she/her) is a Ph.D. candidate, specializing in Applied Anthropology at Oregon State University. She is currently conducting fieldwork in Okinawa and is originally from Uruku, Okinawa.

Elaine Cromie (she/her) is third generation Uchinaanchu on her father’s side, 3rd generation Boriqua on her mother’s side, as well as mixed European/white. She resides on the lands of the Anishinaabe and Three Fires Tribes: the Ojibwe, Ottawa, and Potawatomi, now known as Detroit, Michigan. Elaine is a freelance and documentary photographer and currently a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan where she is working on a visual documentary and collaborative project on people reclaiming & revitalizing Uchinaaguchi and the Indigenous languages of the Ryukyus.

Ako Castuera (she/her) is 4th generation Uchiaanchu on her mother’s side and with paternal roots in Mexico. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and currently resides on Tongva land. Ako is an artist, primarily working in children’s animation as an artist, storyboard writer, and director, including the Netflix show: City of Ghosts. Ako also holds a black belt in Okinawan Shorinryu-style Karate.

Show Notes:


Ippee nifee debiru (thank you very much!) to Koji providing this episode's music, ‘To Carry (On and On)! To read more about the song, read about it on Them. Koji can be found at the following:

And as always, nifee deebiru to Brandon Ufugusuku Ing for the music accompanying our fun fact!


Huge thank you to Emma Anderson and Joseph Kamiya for audio editing and mastering.


Donations to Ichariba Choodee are very much appreciated!


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