CJS Seminar: Parental Kidnapping and the Hague Convention

On Tuesday, November 17th, Dr. William Cleary, Law Professor at Hiroshima Shudo University and visiting scholar in residence at UHM’s Richardson School of Law, related some of the complexities of child custody in the case of failed international marriages where one parent ‘abducts’ their children back to his or her home country.  This is particularly a problem in the case of Japan, a nation without a legal concept of joint custody.  Dr. Cleary sees the recent decision by Japan to join the Hague convention as a step in the right direction, but not a silver bullet, as it is exterior to Japan’s own legal system.   He proposed a possible solution from within the system dealing with extraterritoriality and the ability to punish a Japanese national who commits a crime abroad, which has seemingly not yet been applied in custody issue cases.

LINK to flyer.


(l to r): CJS Director Lonny Carlile, UHM Law Professor Williamson Chang, Dr. William Cleary

CJS Presents: Wiki Slideshows on Japan

One of our more popular offerings, Wiki Slideshows on Japan, features multiple fast-paced academic presentations intended to inform as well as entertain. It made a triumphant return on Friday, November 6th, after hibernating for two years.

With CJS’s Jordan Trader taking up the role of emcee, three UHM faculty and three graduate students were given ten minutes to present on a subject of their choosing.  Dr. John Szostak, Associate Professor of Art History, analyzed Kobayashi Kiyochika’s satirical war prints. Dr. Hanae Kramer, Assistant Professor of Communications, presented on the prolific and humorously formulaic recording industry apparatus in early 20th century Japan.  Dr. Donald Womack, Professor of Music, gave an aural overview of his compositions that feature traditional Japanese instruments used in new, innovative ways. Ms. Yuka Hasegawa, PhD candidate in Anthropology, related her experiences leading walking tours in Koganecho, part of a community development project in Yokohama aimed at turning around seedy neighborhoods through art and exploration.  Mr. Hilson Reidpath, MA Student in East Asian Languages and Literatures, offered entertaining insights into the origins and effects of unique Okinawan names.  Mr. Kalau Almony, also an EALL MA Student, gave a masterly technical analysis of the evolving norms of masculine and feminine speech using Yamazaki Nao-cola’s “Growing Conversation” as a source text.  LINK to flyer.

(l to r): Hanae Kramer, John Szostak, Donald Womack, Jordan Trader, Hilson Reidpath, Kalau Almony, Yuka Hasegawa

CJS Seminar: Japanese Mythology in Film

On Friday, October 2, 2015, Dr. Yoshiko Okuyama, Associate Professor of Japanese Studies and Linguistics at UH Hilo, brought attention to not uncommon but commonly overlooked instances of Japanese mythology and folkore hidden in modern Japanese anime and animated films.  The large audience appreciated the opportunity to learn to see Japanese culture and tradition at work in such a popular and widely consumed medium.

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In Memoriam: Emeritus Japanese Studies Professor James Brandon

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of a beloved colleague.


James R. Brandon, 1927-2015

James Rodger Brandon, beloved husband, trailblazing scholar, inspiring director, mentor, teacher, translator, actor, and friend, passed away in Honolulu on Sept. 19, 2015, leaving a remarkable legacy in the world of Asian theatre studies, a discipline he pioneered and fertilized with numerous scholars and artists he so graciously and carefully nurtured over half a century.  Born and raised in the small town of Mazomanie, Wisconsin, he joined the State Department Foreign Service after receiving his PhD from the University of Wisconsin in 1955, and spent six years in Java and Japan.  He returned to the U.S. in 1961 and began teaching Asian theatre in the Department of Speech and Comparative Literature at Michigan State University, where he directed his first two Kabuki plays in English, Kanjincho and The Zen Substitute.  He joined the University of Hawai‘i Department of Drama and Theatre as a full professor in 1968, and remained with U.H. until his retirement in 2000. During his 32 years with what became the Department of Theatre and Dance, he firmly established its unique Asian Theatre Program, co-founded the Asian Theatre Journal, served as Department Chair from 1985 to 1988, and brought international recognition to the department through his scholarship and large-scale English language Kabuki productions.

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American Foreign Policy through Japan’s Eyes

On Thursday, September 10, 2015, Dr. Toshihiro Nakayama, Professor of American Politics and Foreign Policy at Keio University, introduced American diplomacy from Japan’s perspective.  He highlighted the support for and importance of a continued alliance between Japan and the United States.  His frank insights were buoyed by lively personal anecdotes of formative experiences in the United States.  This talk was jointly sponsored by the East-West Center and the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu.

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