“Picturing the Ryūkyūs: Images of Okinawa in Japanese Artworks from the UH Sakamaki/Hawley Collection” drew visitors February 8-22 to the UHM Art Gallery Exhibit. Curator John Szostak displayed the entire length of two handscrolls from 1671 and 1710 showing ambassadors from the Ryūkyū Kingdom on their tributary march toward Edo. The scrolls are on display (in digital format) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Library’s Sakamaki/Hawley Collection website: click here.
Talks about “Parades and Processions” helped to interpret these works on Sunday February 10 and Monday, February 11. Professor Hiroshi Kurushima explained how his recent exhibit at the National Museum of Japanese History in Chiba Prefecture incorporated works from the University of Hawaii Library Sakamaki/Hawley Collection, and how towns along the routes of parades prepared for foreign embassies. Professor Manabu Yokoyama from Notre Dame Seishin University in Okayama compared differences seen in the 1671 and 1710 processions, and where these processions fit into the two hundred years of foreign embassies to Edo. Professor Gregory Smits, Pennsylvania State University, discussed the overlapping cultural regions of the East China Sea, the diplomatic orientations of the Ryūkyū toward China, and intentional Japanese framing of the Ryukyuans as “Chinese.” Professor Mark McNally (UHM) discussed the mobility and fluidity characterizing Early Modern Japan. Professor John Szostak (UHM) and co-curator Travis Seifman (UCSB) educated audiences further about the production of the images in the Picturing the Ryūkyūs exhibit. Japanese Collection Librarian Tokiko Bazzell organized these events with help from co-sponsors, aiming to connect the Special Collections to the interdisciplinary curriculum in Okinawan Studies and Japanese Studies at UHM.
On Tuesday, February 12th, Dr. Gregory Smits, Associate Professor of History and East Asian Studies at Pennsylvania State University, kicked off the 2013 CJS Seminar Series with his findings on the failed history of earthquake prediction in Japan. Audience members learned that since the 1854 Ansei-Tōkai earthquake, despite vast intellectual and material resources poured into earthquake prediction in Japan, scholars have yet to identify a single unique event that can accurately predict an upcoming earthquake. While thousands of alleged earthquake “precursors” have been identified, all were realized after-the-fact. Dr. Smits maintained resources could be much better spent on earthquake preparedness than prediction. More information can be found in his books, Seismic Japan: The Long History and Continuing Legacy of the Ansei Edo Earthquake forthcoming from University of Hawai’i Press, and Before 3-11: A History of Earthquakes in Japan to be published by Rowman & Littlefield.
The 12th annual observance at the Ehime Maru Memorial brought many to Kakaako Waterfront Park on Saturday, February 9, 2013. Families and officials from Japan and Hawai‘i honored the students and crew who died. On Monday, February 11, officials from Ehime Prefecture visited the Center for Japanese Studies to invite two University of Hawaii students to Ehime Prefectural International Center for Summer 2013, for the 10th year of the EPIC internship. CJS thanks Ehime Prefecture, The Japan America Society of Honolulu (Mr. Ed Hawkins, President) and the Ehime Maru Memorial Association for promoting mutual exchange activities involving UHM students.
The Ehime Prefectural International Center is offering an eleven-week summer internship for two lucky students. Chosen candidates will work at EPIC and other municipal international centers in Ehime prefecture.
Benefits: round-trip transportation (Honolulu to Ehime), housing allowance, modest stipend, medical and life insurance coverage.
The application deadline is Monday, March 4, 2013. Finalists will be interviewed on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm in Moore Hall 319.
Everyone is invited to a tribute to Avis Morigawara on Tuesday, February 26, 2013, at 4 pm in Saunders Hall Courtyard. Avis passed away in November 2012 in her 31st year of UH employment, most recently with the UHM Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Avis was a lifelong scholar of Japan who completed her M.A. and B.A. degrees in Asian Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Avis’s 2002 M.A. Thesis, available in Hamilton Library, is Japan’s Migration Laws and Policies: The Japanese Brazilian Experience, A Case Study. Friends of Avis Morigawara invite contributions to the Avis Morigawara Scholarship Fund for undergraduate students in Japanese Studies. For more information, click here.