Japan’s Visible Minorities

On Friday, November 7, 2014, a full audience gathered in the Tokioka room to listen to Dr. Debito Arudou present his research on Japan’s so-called ‘visible minorities,’ or those who don’t look Japanese. He illustrated a phenomenon of exclusionary treatment based on looks and explained how it is sustained, in part, via a media-driven dominant discourse on “foreignness.” Next, he pointed to the importance of liberalizing enculturated views about race in light of the existence of Japanese citizens who do not look Japanese, and because of an increasing number of foreign residents and a growing need to accept them. Acknowledging the difficulty of enacting large-scale change, Dr. Arudou concluded by calling for the inclusion of physical appearance as a category for analyzing discrimination in Japan within the field of Japanese Studies.


(l to r) Visiting Professor Tomohiko Maeda from Meijo University Faculty of Law, Dr. Ivan P. Hall, Dr. Debito Arudou, Dr. Mary McDonald, Dr. Hanae Kramer, and Joyce Henna

Japanese Cinematic Activities in Manchuria

On Friday, October 24th, Dr. Hanae Kramer shared her research exploring the filmographic adventures of the Japan-operated South Manchuria Railway Company and Manchuria Motion Picture Corporation in the decades leading up to WWII.  Japanese film production in colonially occupied Manchuria was a dominant means of disseminating propaganda.  Though the films were created to satisfy largely political ends, a distinctive and not artistically insignificant style was created.  This was thanks largely to an impassioned division head who oversaw the production of a varied and prolific output.  Because these films and the circumstances of their creation have been largely lost and forgotten, lecture attendees appreciated the rare opportunity to learn about this fascinating topic.

Below left:  Dr. Kramer fields questions from the audience.  Below right:  (left to right) CJS Director Mary McDonald; Dr. Hanae Kramer; Dr. James Young, former Executive Director of KHET – Hawaii Public Television; and Dr. George Tanabe, Professor Emeritus, Religion Department, UHM.

CJS Seminar: Japan’s Visible Minorities


On Friday, November 7th at 3:00pm in Moore Hall 319 (Tokioka Room), Dr. ARUDOU, Debito will present a talk entitled, “Japan’s Visible Minorities: Appearance and Prejudice in Japanese Society.”  He will examine legal and social processes linking Japanese nationality with phenotype and the resulting impact on the treatment of Japan’s “Visible Minorities.”  Dr. Arudou will also suggest ways for Japan’s government to make both old and new entrants into Japan into “new Japanese.”


CJS Seminar: Japanese Cinematic Activities in Manchuria


Please join us Friday, October 24th at 3:00pm in Moore Hall 319 (Tokioka Room) for “Japanese Cinematic Activities in Manchuria,” by Dr. Hanae Kramer.  Dr. Kramer, Assistant Professor in the School of Communications at UHM, will speak about the underappreciated and misunderstood legacy of the South Manchuria Railway Company’s involvement in the production of Japanese films in the decades before WWII.