The Traditional in the Contemporary — Ninety years of Japanese compositions



We are pleased like to announce an upcoming recital at Orvis Hall that will feature the vocalist Mika Kimula, shamisen virtuosi Hidejirō Honjō and Christopher Yohmei Blasdel on shakuhachi. UH professor Mari Yoshihara will also join us on piano.

The program will feature Japanese compositions ranging from the early 20th century to a world premier of a brand new work. The pieces on this program, performed by professional musicans who are  thoroughly versed in the classical  genres, demonstrate the magnificent range of Japanese contemporary compositions that are modern yet informed by traditional techniques and sensibilities.

This  is a unique opportunity to hear live music of some of the most interesting composers of Japanese music created during the 20th and 21st centuries.

The concert will begin at 7:30 PM on Friday, September 16th
Orvis Auditorium,
UH Mānoa, 2411 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822 United States
+ Google Map

See the flier and performer profiles here:



  1. Vocal solo: Uguisu, Hayasaka Fumio, Lyrics by Satō Haruo (1944)
  2. Shakuhachi solo: Kakurin, Hirose Ryohei (1975)
  3. Shamisen solo: Neo – for Shamisen, Dai Fujikura (2014)
  4. Voice, shamisen & shakuhachi: San Juan-sama no Uta, Takahashi Kumiko (2015)
  5. Voice and shamisen: Rikugien (from In The Gardens of Japan, by Kenny Fries), Takahashi Kumiko (2016)
  6. Voice, piano & shakuhachi, The Rain at Jōgashima Island: Hashimoto Kunihiko, lyrics by Kitahara Hakushū (1928)
  7. Shakuhachi and piano: Tears of Heaven: Michael Reimann (1986)
  8. Voice, piano and shakuhachi: Shi-te-ten (from Three Songs from Medieval Japan): Kikuko Massumoto (1980)

$12 general admission, $8 seniors, UH faculty/staff/students (UH ID required), $5 UHM music majors

EPIC Interns Arrive in Matsuyama

2016 EPIC Interns Yu and Jay arrive in Matsuyama
2016 EPIC Interns Yu Sasaki and Jake Yasumori arrive in Matsuyama

Last night Yu Sasaki and Jake Tasumori, this year’s Ehime Prefetural International Center (EPIC) Interns, arrived in Matsuyama where they will spend two and a half months representing UHM as cultural ambassadors. They will spend the summer working at the Ehime Prefectural International Center, giving presentations on Hawaiian culture and language and visiting schools. The internship program was one of several Hawaii-Ehime programs started to foster friendship and good will after the Ehime-maru tragedy in 2001.


Announcement: Asian Studies Program and Western Regional Graduate Program


The Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE)’s Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP)


As of fall 2016, the Asian Studies Program at UH Mānoa is a member of the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP). This program allows master’s, graduate certificate, and doctoral students who are legal residents of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) member states to pay Hawai’i resident tuition when attending the UH-Mānoa Asian Studies Program. The WICHE states are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.


WICHE WRGP applicants applying to UH-Mānoa must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher or possess certain exceptional abilities as affirmed by the UHM graduate program to which they apply.


To be considered for the Hawai’i resident tuition rate through the WRGP program, you must identify yourself as WICHE WRGP applicant at the time you apply.* You must fulfill all the usual requirements for admission as set by the Asian Studies Program and the the Office of Graduate Education at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and meet all admission deadlines. You must also provide documentation as proof of your legal residency in a WICHE state when requested by UH-Mānoa. (This documentation may include tax returns, voter certificates, active bank accounts, proofs of employment, proof of property ownership, lease agreements, among others).


For more information, please see:


UH-Mānoa Office of Graduate Education information on WICHE WRGP:


WICHE WRGP website:


*Please note: due to the requirements of residency determination, nominations and approvals for WRGP status can only be done at the time of application. It is not possible to “switch” into the WRGP once you have started your graduate program at UHM.

Video Conference Lecture on Historical Reconciliation in Asia


Dr. Tessa Morris-Suzuki of Australia National University (ANU) has arranged to provide access via videoconferencing from Canberra to a guest lecture on historical reconciliation in Asia that is part of a new ANU course, Reconciliation and the Memory of Conflicts in Asia and the Pacific.

Anyone who wants to attend this video conference discussing on Japan and the Cold War needs to send a quick note to

April 1 (Fri) 11:45 am – 1:30 pm. ITS Building, Room 105A. Professor Kimie Hara, University of Waterloo, Canada, “The San Francisco System and its Legacies in the Asia-Pacific: Continuation, Transformation and Historical Reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific.”

Kimie Hara is a Professor and the Renison Research Professor at the University of Waterloo, where she is also the Director of East Asian Studies at Renison University College.  She specializes in modern and contemporary international relations of the Asia-Pacific region, border studies, Cold War history, and Japanese politics and diplomacy. Her (authored/edited) books include San Francisco System and Its Legacies: Continuation, Transformation and Historical Reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific, (2015), China-Japan Border Disputes: Islands of Contention in Multidisciplinary Perspective (2015, with Tim Liao, Krista Wiegand) and East Asia-Arctic Relations: Boundary, Security, and International Politics (2014, with Ken Coates).

The 27th Annual SPAS Graduate Student Conference

Opening Ceremony and Keynote Address
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Center for Korean Studies Auditorium

Keynote Address by Dr. Theodore C. Bestor
Reischauer Institute Professor of Social Anthropology;
Director, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies Harvard University

“What in the World is Washoku?”

Theodore C. Bestor is the Director of the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies and Reischauer Professor of Social Anthropology at Harvard University. He is a specialist on contemporary Japanese society and culture; much of his re­search focuses on Tokyo, and he has written widely on urban culture and history, local neighborhood society and identity, markets and economic organization, food culture, and popular culture as a defining aspect of urban Japanese life.

BestorPhotoCurrently his research focuses on Japanese food culture and, in particular, on the globalization of Japanese cuisine and its intense popularity through­out the world, as well as in UNESCO’s recognition of Japan’s traditional cuisine (washoku) as an item of Global Intangible Cultural Heritage. He conducted research on this topic as a recipient of a Fulbright Senior Fellowship in Japan in the Spring of 2015.

His publications include: Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World, published in 2003 (with a second edition in preparation) based on Bestor’s research over the past 20 years on Tokyo’s vast sea­food market and its role in Japan’s sushi trade. He is the co-editor, with Victoria Lyon Bestor, of the recent Routledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Soci­ety, a collection of essays ranging widely over history, arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Bestor received his PhD and MA from Stanford University, and his BA from Fairhaven College of Western Washington University. He began his pro­fessional career as Program Director for Japanese and Korean Studies at the Social Science Research Coun­cil. After teaching at Columbia and Cornell universi­ties, he joined the Harvard faculty in 2001.

He is the Past President of the Association for Asian Studies (2012-13), and the founding president of the Society for East Asian Anthropology. In June 2013 Bestor received the Commissioner’s Award for the Promotion of Japanese Culture, from the Agency for Cultural Affairs of the Japanese government.

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