Spring 2014 J-Current


CJS has published the Spring 2014 issue of J-Current, the biannual newsletter of the Center for Japanese Studies! You can access it by clicking on the cover photo to the left. All available issues can be found in our J-Current repository on the left menu (under Resources). Enjoy and have a wonderful summer!

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.