Gushiken

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Gushiken (具志堅) is a Okinawan surname of Okinawan (Ryukyuan) origin. Often taken to mean "strong willed" or "of firm determination", a meaning taken from the combination of the three kanji characters in the name. Gu () means roughly ingredients/utensil/means, Shi () means will/motive/bear in mind, and Ken () means hard/resolute/unyielding. This surname is unique among Japanese surnames in that it is one of the few that are composed of three kanji characters, where most Japanese surnames are either composed of one or two kanji characters.

The Gushiken surname is one of many family names of the Okinawan bureaucrat class (Okinawan scholar-officials, also known as Shizoku Pechin). In recent history there have been some notable Gushiken who have excelled in such fields as martial arts, politics, sports, education, and entertainment.

Some members of former-Scholars families began their migration from Okinawa in the early 20th century. Years earlier, in the late 19th century, government pensions to Samurai had been cancelled. Then, in 1920, Okinawa was hit hard by a major economic downturn. The price of cotton and silk fell by 70% in some areas and it was still recovering from a major epidemic that had swept through the islands. Many in the warrior class found the adjustment difficult and left Okinawa to seek their fortunes in places like Hawaii, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and California.

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