Eric Yamamoto

The William S. Richardson School of Law has named University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Professor of Law Eric K. Yamamoto to a newly-established professorship—The Fred T. Korematsu Professor of Law and Social Justice.

Yamamoto is a nationally and internationally-recognized authority on issues of social justice, redress and reconciliation. He is the recipient of eight Outstanding Law Teaching Awards, including UH’s highest award, the Regents Medal for Teaching Excellence. In 2011, the nationwide Consortium of Asian Pacific American Law Professors honored Yamamoto by creating the annual Professor Eric K. Yamamoto Emerging Scholar Award in recognition of his devotion to the struggle for justice and his mentorship of promising legal scholars.

“Eric Yamamoto truly is known around the world for his path-breaking work on restorative justice. His multifaceted approach to social justice and his collaborative work with students already serves as a model. Bestowing this particular professorship on Eric is so fitting that it merits celebration. We are eternally grateful for the generosity of the Kosasa family as well as the Fred T. Korematsu family for making this dream a reality,” said Law School Dean Avi Soifer.

The Fred T. Korematsu Professor of Law and Social Justice

This professorship honors the late Fred T. Korematsu, whose courage in the face of racially-biased World War II government policies of detaining and imprisoning Japanese Americans will inspire advanced studies in civil liberties and contribute to social justice initiatives. The Korematsu family determined that the only Fred T. Korematsu Professorship in the country should be housed at UH Mānoa’s School of Law.

The professorship is being launched through a generous leadership gift from Sidney and Minnie Kosasa. Sidney Kosasa was a student attending University of California, Berkeley’s pharmacy school during World War II when he was interned at the Tule Lake relocation camp in California. In 1943, he married Minnie Ryugo at the camp. After their release, they eventually returned to Hawaiʻi and are the founders of the ABC Stores, one of the most successful business enterprises in Hawaiʻi

For more information, read the news release.