EPIC Interns Arrive in Japan

UHM students Kamalolo Koanui-Kong, BA in Hawaiian Language Studies, and Rochelle Ohata, undergraduate student in Japanese, have arrived in Matsuyama and are ready to begin their summer internships at the Ehime Prefectural International Center.  We wish Kamalolo and Rochelle a wonderful summer!

2014 EPIC interns Kamalolo (left) and Rochelle safely arrive safely in Matsuyama, Japan
2014 EPIC interns Kamalolo (left) and Rochelle (right) safely arrive in Matsuyama, Japan

The Ehime Prefectural International Center Summer Internship program, jointly coordinated by CJS and the Japan-America Society of Hawai`i, offers UHM students the opportunity to work in the EPIC office in Matsuyama, take part in public seminars on topics about Hawai’i, visit schools in Ehime Prefecture to share Hawaiian culture, assist international residents in EPIC, and work toward deepening the relationship between Hawai`i and Ehime.  The program was established five years after the Ehime-maru tragedy which strained the relationship between the United States and Japan.  Out of that tragedy, Ehime and Hawai`i have built strong connections and embarked on a number of exchanges.


The “Comfort Women” Debate in Major Japanese Newspapers

On Friday, April 4, 2014, Shunichi Takekawa, Associate Professor in the College of Asia Pacific Studies at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, elaborated upon the “comfort women” debate among major Japanese newspapers that began in the early 1990s.  Central to this media-political debate are understandings of coercion and the roles of organizations in the recruitment of so-called “comfort women”.  Dr. Takekawa argued that reconciliation between competing ideological camps must start with a reconciliation among Japanese national newspapers.  A spirited debate developed amongst attendees after the presentation on this delicate and multifaceted issue.

(l to r): Religion Professor Michel Mohr, Betsy Kawamura, Shunichi Takekawa, Sociology Professor Patricia Steinhoff, CJS Director Mary McDonald, Robert Kuo



“LOVE! SPAM”: Tastes and Tales of War, Foreign Occupation, and Luncheon Meat in Post-WWII Okinawa, by Mire Koikari



Please join us Friday, April 11th in the Tokioka Room (Moore Hall 319) at 3:00pm for a talk by UHM Women’s Studies Associate Professor Mire Koikari. Professor Koikari will relate the significance of luncheon meat (aka SPAM) in Okinawa and its role as a narrative nexus for Okinawan expression on a variety of topics relating to war, identity, and, of course, food. See FLYER for details.

This talk is co-sponsored by the 2014 Waikiki SPAM® Jam as well as the UHM Department of Women’s Studies and Center for Okinawan Studies. Light refreshments will be provided.



UHM Chancellor visits Dr. Sen in Kyoto

Dr. Genshitsu Sen, retired grand tea master, hosted UHM Chancellor Tom Apple at Urasenke on Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Kyoto.  Dr. Sen also welcomed UH Foundation Vice President Lori Admiral, Vice Chancellor for International Programs and SPAS Dean R. Anderson Sutton, and CJS Director Mary McDonald.  Behind the historic Kabutomon gate, the 300-year-old Konnichian tea school complex was undergoing historic preservation, with only one tea room usable.  Later, Dr. Sen invited UHM visitors to dine with international students graduating from Urasenke’s Midorikai Program.  Thank you for a wonderful day at Urasenke, Dr. Sen.

(l to r): Dr. Genshitsu Sen, UH Foundation Vice President Lori Admiral, UHM Chancellor Tom Apple, Assistant Vice Chancellor for International and Exchange Programs and SPAS Dean R. Anderson Sutton, and CJS Director Mary McDonald.

Adam Wesely and David Nguyen Receive Monbukagakusho Awards

On Friday, March 28, Consul General of Japan in Honolulu Toyoei Shigeeda presented Monbukagakusho research scholarships to two UHM graduate students.  From April 2014 Adam Wesely, in East Asian Languages and Literatures, will study late 19th century literature about Hokkaido at Hokkaido University.  David Nguyen, in Urban and Regional Planning, will research disaster mitigation and recovery in Northeastern Japan at Tohoku University.  Also in photos: Tomoka Wesley (wife of Adam); Hung Nguyen (aunt of David); Mary McDonald, UHM Center for Japanese Studies; Mary Hammond, East-West Center.