I found out that there is a Shiga Kenjinkai in Tokyo and other places. So today, I called the Kenjinkai office in Tokyo and asked about the organization.
The secretary was new so she could not answer many of my questions. She told me that they have a Web site, but very simple one and she didn’t know the URL! (I could not find any official Web site though.) They hold two meetings （総会) a year and there is also a 世界大会.
I found this news article about the Shiga Kenjinkai in Nagoya.
They even had a meeting in Hawaii! Maybe Hawaii has a Shiga Kenjinkai too. I think Los Angeles has one, and even France. I’ll let you know when I find out more.
If you look at the picture in the article, most members are quite old. I think they need to recruit more young people. They should join mixi and meet us!
They don’t have a BBS for members either. Perhaps most of them do not know how to use the Internet. I plan to visit the Kenjinkai office in Tokyo and try to see if we can join their activities or vice versa. I’m sure they want more young people. And there are so many young people here in mixi who love their hometown of Shiga.
I think the older generation can tell us many stories about Shiga. They should pass on their stories and knowledge to us before they pass away, don’t you think?
At the University of Hawaii (my alma mater), they have a program to record the oral histories of first-generation immigrants to Hawaii. They talk about picture brides, sugar plantation life, etc. Influenced by this program, I later interviewed both of my grandmothers in Shiga (while they were still 元気） and videotaped it. I asked them about their parents (my great grandparents), their siblings, their school, wartime years, marriage, birth of my father and mother, etc.
It was very interesting. One grandmother already died, and my other grandmother is at a rojin home and in no condition to talk about her life. So I’m really glad that I got their stories while they were still healthy.