Mrs. Jean Sakihara (pictured above, center with Consul General Kamo and his wife, Etsuko), widow of the late Mitsugu Sakihara, was awarded The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays in a special ceremony at the Japanese Consul-General’s residence on November 23rd, 2009. The prestigious decoration honors Mrs. Sakihara’s efforts over many years in teaching kimono culture to students at the University Lab School. The awards ceremony included a kimono demonstration featuring three of Mrs. Sakihara’s students, one of whom also performed a hula in honor of the occasion. Mrs. Sakihara has also been a generous supporter of Okinawan Studies at UH, and we are happy to congratulate her for receiving this award.
The University of Hawaii Press has a long tradition of strong, Japan-related, publications. Several recent and forthcoming titles maintain this tradition. The Material Culture of Death in Medieval Japan by Karen M. Gerhart (published July 2009) is the first book in English to explore the ways medieval Japanese sought to overcome their sense of powerlessness regarding death.
Of related interest is Satsuki Kawano’s forthcoming title Nature’s Embrace: Japan’s Aging Urbanites and New Death Rites, to be released in February 2010.
Making a Moral State: Ethics and the State in Meiji Japan by Richard M. Reitan will be released in December 2009. This book explores the struggles to define a common morality in the emerging nation-state of Meiji era Japan.
These are just a sampling of the titles being released by UH Press in the coming months. Visit their blog for more information.
UHM Professor Appointed to the University of the Ryukyus’ Management Council (equivalent to Board of Regents)
UHM Center for Japanese Studies’ Director, Dr. Robert N. Huey, has been appointed a member of the University of Ryukyus’ Management Council, the Japanese equivalent to our Board of Regents. The other members of the Management Council consist of the University of the Ryukyus President, five Vice Presidents, and prominent members of the community such as Vice Governor of Okinawa, President of the Okinawa Times Newspaper, and Director of the University of the Ryukyus Foundation. The Management Council has the power to decide the direction of the University. Dr. Huey is the first foreigner to be appointed to the Management Council of a national university in Japan. This appointment signifies UH’s strong ties to Okinawa and the University of the Ryukyus’ commitment to internationalization.
Today, at a special ceremony Professor Katsunori Yamazato of the University of Ryukyus presented the official letter of appointment on the UHM campus, as shown in the photo above.
Dr. Huey started teaching at UHM in 1985, and he has served as the Center for Japanese Studies’ Director for the last seven years.
UHM and the University of the Ryukyus have a long standing relationship based on scholars and students studying at each other universities; and, UHM recently established in 2008 the first and only Center for Okinawan Studies in the United States. A world- class library collection on Okinawa (Sakamaki/Hawley Collection, housed at UHM Hamilton Library), faculty and student interest in Okinawa, and a vibrant Okinawan-American community in Hawai‘i come together to provide especially fertile grounds for the study of Okinawa and for joint projects with the University of the Ryukyus.
Nationally acclaimed author Jon Shirota will speak in Kuykendall Hall on November 5 at 3:00 pm. Shirota is the author of the 1965 classic Lucky Come Hawaii, the first novel by an Asian American writer in Hawaii to become a national bestseller. He will speak about the Okinawan sense of place in his writing and be joined by Joyce Chinen, professor of sociology at UH West Oahu; Katsunori Yamazato, professor of American studies at the University of the Ryukyus; and Christine Yano, professor of anthropology at UHM. Following this free talk will be a presentation of Shirota’s play Voices from Okinawa at the Kumu Kahua Theatre at 8:00 pm, call the box office at 536-4441 for more information.
CJS is hosting two exciting lectures in November. The first lecture is by Dr. Laura Miller, professor of anthropology at Loyola University Chicago. The lecture will be held on November 9 from 5:00-6:30 pm in Crawford Hall 105 and is co-sponsored by the Japan-America Society of Hawaii and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii. Dr. Miller’s talk is titled Japanese Girl Stuff: Trends and Innovations in Popular Culture.
On November 13 Dr. Rebecca Copeland, professor of Japanese Languages and Literature at Washington University in St. Louis, will give a talk titled Freaks, Misfits, and other Maimed Souls: Kirino Natsuo and the Allure of Grotesque. Dr. Copeland will talk about the process of translating Grotesque into English. Her lecture will be held in the Tokioka Room (Moore Hall 319 from 3:00-4:30 pm.