Drs. Asato & Wertheimer featured in Civil Beat

Our very own Dr. Noriko Asato and Dr. Andrew Wertheimer made the front page of Hawaiʻi’s Civil Beat today to talk about their research on the history of Japanese bookstores in response to the Hawaiʻi State Public Library System’s exclusion of Japanese language books.

Dr. Andrew Wertheimer PhD and Dr. Noriko Asato, PhD both UH Library professors with some copies of old Hakubundo Japanese bookstore advertisements they found through their research. (Civil Beat).






The library excluded Japanese readers at a time when Japanese people in Hawaii exceeded 40% of the population, according to research by Andrew Wertheimer and Noriko Asato, professors in the Library & Information Science Program at the University of Hawaii.

While local Japanese were allowed to become library members, the researchers found that the library rejected requests to serve them.

“Now we say intellectual freedom is part of the professional ethics of librarianship, but at that time in Hawaii, it certainly wasn’t,” Wertheimer said.

To read more: https://www.civilbeat.org/2019/10/new-research-shows-how-honolulus-japanese-spurned-by-the-library-made-their-own-bookstore-culture/