The first emigrants from Okinawa were Anou Makishi and Ankou Oyadomari in 1900. They moved to Canada with hopes of finding employment. They were sailors on an Osaka merchant ship, but they were able to freely disembark at the time since anti-emigration law was non-existent.
According to the statistics of Okinawa Prefecture, there were 152 emigrants to Canada in 1907, the highest-ever record. Beginning in 1911 the number begins to drop off. There were some emigrants who were sent to Canada after World War II, but the number was not significant.
What is truly special about Okinawan emigration is the fact that the first generation worked hard to give the second an opportunity to receive high school education. Many second-generation Okinawans chose to advance to post-secondary institutions or technical institutes instead of the agriculture business of their parents. Consequently, many of them went on to become specialists in various professional fields; doctor, architect, pharmacist, government official, educator, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, nurse, etc. The social contributions made by second- and third-generation Okinawans have earned the respect and trust of Canadians.