The 27th Annual SPAS Graduate Student Conference

Opening Ceremony and Keynote Address
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Center for Korean Studies Auditorium

Keynote Address by Dr. Theodore C. Bestor
Reischauer Institute Professor of Social Anthropology;
Director, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies Harvard University

“What in the World is Washoku?”

Theodore C. Bestor is the Director of the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies and Reischauer Professor of Social Anthropology at Harvard University. He is a specialist on contemporary Japanese society and culture; much of his re­search focuses on Tokyo, and he has written widely on urban culture and history, local neighborhood society and identity, markets and economic organization, food culture, and popular culture as a defining aspect of urban Japanese life.

BestorPhotoCurrently his research focuses on Japanese food culture and, in particular, on the globalization of Japanese cuisine and its intense popularity through­out the world, as well as in UNESCO’s recognition of Japan’s traditional cuisine (washoku) as an item of Global Intangible Cultural Heritage. He conducted research on this topic as a recipient of a Fulbright Senior Fellowship in Japan in the Spring of 2015.

His publications include: Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World, published in 2003 (with a second edition in preparation) based on Bestor’s research over the past 20 years on Tokyo’s vast sea­food market and its role in Japan’s sushi trade. He is the co-editor, with Victoria Lyon Bestor, of the recent Routledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Soci­ety, a collection of essays ranging widely over history, arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Bestor received his PhD and MA from Stanford University, and his BA from Fairhaven College of Western Washington University. He began his pro­fessional career as Program Director for Japanese and Korean Studies at the Social Science Research Coun­cil. After teaching at Columbia and Cornell universi­ties, he joined the Harvard faculty in 2001.

He is the Past President of the Association for Asian Studies (2012-13), and the founding president of the Society for East Asian Anthropology. In June 2013 Bestor received the Commissioner’s Award for the Promotion of Japanese Culture, from the Agency for Cultural Affairs of the Japanese government.

An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. For disability accommodations, please contact

5th Anniversary of the Tohoku Triple Disaster

RememberTohoku1The Center for Japanese Studies wishes to remember the many thousands who perished in Japan’s Triple Disaster five years ago today.  We also wish to acknowledge the many tens of thousands more who lost friends, family, jobs, homes–in short, the lives they knew–and who continue to be affected by that fateful unfolding.




Flyer_HarajukuSunday, March 13, 2016
2:00-4:00 pm
Room 101, Art Building
This event is free and open to the public. Free campus parking on Sunday.

Since the 1990s, Tokyo’s Harajuku district has garnered international attention as the mecca of street fashion and eccentric style. Over twenty years later, fashion-forward youths interested in the latest trends and subculture groups still converge there.

The panelists of “In & Out of Harajuku: Fashioning Culture and Identity” will discuss a range of issues associated with Harajuku’s subculture fashion and raise by the exhibition Harajuku: Tokyo Street Fashion (Honolulu Museum of Art, 11/19/15 – 4/3/16).

Kristin Remington | 808.956.8570 |

Museum Studies Graduate Certificate Program at UHM – Department of American Studies; Center for Japanese Studies at UHM

CJS Seminar: “Asia for the Asians 2.0,” by Dr. Paula Harrell

HarrellTalkFlyerFriday, March 4
3:00pm – 4:30pm
Moore 319 (Tokioka Room)

As a follow-on to our recent panel on tensions in Northeast Asia, Paula Harrell, adjunct Professor of History at Georgetown University, will discuss signs of a continued warming trend in China-Japan relations as new regional arrangements make partnership an increasingly rational choice. Is the weight of events now favoring detente?

Please join the debate on March 4 on this critically important topic.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Chinese Studies.

CJS Seminar: “Voice, Silence, and Self,” by Dr. Christopher Bondy

BondyTalkFlyerTuesday, March 8
3:00pm – 4:30pm
Moore 319 (Tokioka Room)

The Burakumin. Stigmatized in Japanese history as an outcaste group, their identity is still “risky,” their social presence mostly silent, and their experience marginalized in public discourse.

Based on his recent monograph, Christopher Bondy, Associate Professor of Sociology and Coordinator for Japan Studies, International Christian University, Tokyo, will present the results of a longitudinal study exploring the experience of burakumin youth from two different communities and with different social movement organizations.

Voice, Silence, and Self (2015) by Professor Bondy is available now from Harvard University Press.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology