History of Sakamaki/Hawley Collection

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What is the Sakamaki/Hawley Collection?

bibleThe Sakamaki/Hawley Collection contains many materials dating from the 1400s to the 1960s about the Ryukyus and Okinawa. Frank Hawley collected over 2,000 items during his 30 years of living in Japan. The majority of the items are in Japanese, but there are also materials in various European languages, Chinese, and Ryukyuan language (Uchinaguchi). The collections are in different formats such as western binding, Japanese traditional binding books, maps, scrolls, wood-block prints, hand written manuscripts, etc. They are now in the rare book cage at the Asia Collection of Hamilton Library and are available for research and exhibitions by advance appointments and arrangements.

*For more information, please consult: Shomotsu ni miserareta Eeikokujin: Furanku Hōrei to Ninon bunka (書物に魅せられた 英国人 : フランク・ホ-レ-と日本 文化) East DS832.7.B74 Y65 2003

Who is Frank Hawley?

Frank HawleyFrank Hawley was born in 1906 in England and died in 1961 in Kyoto. He's mostly depicted as an English journalist because his last job was as a special correspondent for the British newspaper, The Times from 1946 to 1952. He first came to Japan in 1931. Frank Hawley was also known as an avid book collector. He invested a large amount of his time, money and passion in collecting books, manuscripts, and artworks. It is said that just before the war, he had collected over 16,000 items.

Right after World War II began, Hawley was imprisoned and all his collections were confiscated by the Japanese military government. He returned to England in an exchange for overseas Japanese nationals. After the war was over, he tried to get his confiscated collections back, however, only about 70% of the collections were found. He married an Uchinanchu, Hisako Shimabukuro until his death in 1961. He had one son, John, and a daughter, Felicity, with his 2nd wife, Gwynneth Laura Turnbull. Early on Hawley had a strong interest in Ryukyu/Okinawa and started collecting resources. Through Mrs. Shimabukuro, he befriended many notable people from Okinawa and benefited from their help. He invited, for example, Miyanaga Masamori (宮良当壮), a notable Okinawan scholar (linguistics, dialects) to his home almost every week, and together they organized the collection (1949-1952).

Mrs. Hisako Shimabukuro

In addition to her network connecting Hawley to Okinawan community, if it had not been for Shimabukuro’s personal commitment, Hawley’s Ryukyu/Okinawa collection might have been scattered. When the collections were sold, she insisted that “not a single book should be sold separately; the complete collections on Ryukyu/Okinawa should be managed together under Hawley’s name.”

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Contact: Tokiko Y. Bazzell, Japan Specialist Librarian
Asia Collection, University of Hawaii at Manoa Library
2550 McCarthy Mall, Honolulu, HI 96822 U.S.A
Email: tokiko@hawaii.edu phn: 808-956-2315