Our Okinawa Kai of Washington, D.C. was founded by Mr. Shima in 1983. In the past 20 some years, the Okinawa Kai has grown to more than 135 families and has been very active in providing educational and Okinawan cultural programs in the Washington area.


Mr. Shima was born on August 15, 1901 as the fifth son of the Shimabukuro family in Haneji, Okinawa. He moved to Hawaii in 1916 to attend school. At the age of 19 years, he arrived in Washington, D.C. to further his education. The challenges that he faced; the good fortunes with which he was blessed; and his contributions to better the lives of people, especially in the Japanese community of Washington, have been featured in the Washington Post and in several books.

Mr. Jesse Shokan Shima passed away on December 14, 2002. He was 101 years of age. We are truly indebted to Shima-san. His kindness and generosity have blessed the lives of many people. We will remember him with great affection, respect and much gratitude.