Rob Kajiwara, singer-songwriter and social justice leader, is making a difference one step at a time
Rob Kajiwara is the bestselling Okinawan Hawaiian singer-songwriter, author and visual artist. His passion for making a difference in society and the dream of seeing a better world has turned him into a social justice leader as well. He has been working in the areas of human rights and climate change, for which he is widely celebrated and publicized in the Asia-Pacific region. He has been featured in over 40 news and media publications, spanning over 12 countries, including BBC World, Digital Journal, The Washington Post, Japan Times, and the People’s Daily among others.
Rob recently launched the book “Occupied Okinawa” which describes his efforts to stop the construction of a new military base that is destroying Okinawa’s coral reef, which is home to hundreds of rare and endangered species, including the Okinawa Dugong. He started a petition on December 8, asking to stop the construction which soon became viral and received over 100,000 signatures in just ten days. In fact, the petition was signed by celebrities like Dr. Brian May of the Rock band ‘Queen’, Japanese supermodel Rola, and composers Van Dyke Parks and Ryuichi Sakamoto among others.
As a singer-songwriter, Rob’s music is heavily influenced by the Beatles and Elton John as well as traditional Okinawan and Hawaiian music. He writes songs about many different subjects including the issues that impact the society, such as climate change, income inequality, gun violence, etc. He uses creativity and art to spread awareness about significant issues that impact the world. He is currently working towards the Okinawan military base issue, whom he talks about in a statement to the media, “In order to solve the problem in Okinawa, I think we need to address America’s domestic violence issues. There’s no reason that the U.S. should continue to spend billions of dollars every year on overseas military bases when we can’t even address America’s own issues of violence, healthcare, education, etc.”
In addition to music, Rob Kajiwara also does visual art and his latest project, Ryukyu Okinawa Impressionism is a collection of some of his best artwork about Okinawa. This book is a way of creating awareness about Okinawa in other countries, especially the United Nations. The book takes the readers on a visual journey into the culture, history of Okinawa as well as the issues it is facing currently. It also highlights the tragic story of Battle of Okinawa that that killed about 1/3rd of the population.
Rob’s multicultural background has impacted his life and career. Like most indigenous people, he has faced discrimination in his life which only inspired him to work harder towards spreading positivity in the world. While a lot of people keep denying the impact of climate change, Rob is constantly putting efforts to contribute towards managing global warming, that will first and foremost affect the island nations like Hawaii and Okinawa.
More information about Rob Kajiwara can be found on his official website.
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