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However, it is totally wrong to assume that they represent the whole prefecture. In reality the Okinawa Kenjin only represent Okinawa Island. They are Okinawans in a narrower sense. Their hometowns were (in descending order):
Yes, they are all on Okinawa Island. As you know, Okinawa can refer to Okinawa Prefecture but that is a modern Japanese usage. Okinawa is in origin the name of a relatively large island and by extension includes some small islands around it. In other words, Okinawa does not often cover the Miyako and Yaeyama Islands. I have never seen Japanese Brazilians from Miyako or Yaeyama. That would be one of the reasons why the immigrant group use the name of Okinawa.
The Okinawa Kenjin were never grouped together with people from the Amami Islands, whom the non-existent concept of "Ryukyuan Brazilian" supposedly includes. Instead they are part of the Kagoshima Kenjin (people from Kagoshima Prefecture).
After all, there is no such group as Ryukyuan in reality. Ryukyu is the name of the Okinawa-centered kingdom. It was a pre-modern polity that never attempted to build a nation state. In terns of self-recognition, it was nothing more than an aggregate of numerous, astonishingly diversified local communities (shima). And it ceased to exist long before the immigration to Brazil began in 1908. By that time subgroups of the Japanese people had been organized by prefecture. --Nanshu (talk) 08:50, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
I admit that I don't know nothing about it because, as you probably already noted, I know hiragana and katakana, may interpret the correct restroom kanji, but don't have a clue of true Japanese language.
My suggestion is for you to make an article about it if you have access to so much accurate, sourced information. Then you can have whatever hyphenated Brazilian name you want to. But for now, the only sub-ethnicity article for this Japanese subgroup is Ryukyuan rather than Okinawan, and the link should have an accurate name as it will direct people to the correct sub-ethnicity term (not the one which I prefer much less the correct, the one that Wikipedia uses). You can also try to make that article refer specifically to Okinawan people, or make another one instead just for the Okinawans, but that is the business of people of WikiProject Japan rather than business of people of WikiProject Brazil. I am just "being bossed" because it is an obvious guideline. We aren't talking about a geographic place, we are talking about a specific identity; if you are so sure about it being wrong, be bold (either here or there, but not just on the template). Lguipontes (talk) 00:24, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
P.S. What I know is that the main reason for the Okinawan Brazilians being united is because, since they didn't spoke Japanese natively, even though they were saw as Japanese by the Brazilians, they were regarded as solely Okinawans by the Japanese. Other people from Ryukyu wouldn't speak Japanese natively either. Even Toohokuan dialect was seen as not Japanese (but then most ancestors of Japanese Brazilians AFAIK came from the region between Kansai and Okinawa). Your source is not disputable and your reasoning that immigration was mostly an Okinawan thing is correct, but there's no reason to believe that other Ryukyan subgroups wouldn't feel alienated from the mainstream Japanese as well. Lguipontes (talk) 01:05, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
So you do not challenge the non-existence of Ryukyuan Brazilian. Good. Now that we accept the fact that people in question do not identify themselves as Ryukyuans, we have no choice but to erase that phrase from this template. Whatever local rules WikiProject Brazil has, they cannot come before Wikipedia's no-original-research policy.
The next question is which article we should link "Okinawan" to. I think [[Okinawa Prefecture|Okinawan]] is the best solution. The assumption that "Okinawan" is about ethnicity is wrong, in terms of self-recognition. It exactly refers to the geographic entity, Okinawa Prefecture. That is what the referent identifies with. This is not surprising because Okinawan was a relatively new, century-old identity created by uniting peoples from formerly isolated communities.
FYI, I have worked on problems involving the concept of Ryukyu. So far I have created or drastically rewritten Amami name, Okinawan name, Angama (Yaeyama), Eisa (dance), Gusuku and Okinawa soba. In all these articles, problems arise if you naively apply the concept of Ryukyu. I hope that these articles will serve as building blocks of more general articles. Much still needs to be done and it takes time. --Nanshu (talk) 13:16, 14 July 2013 (UTC)