Professor Dennis Ogawa, bedecked in lei following his recognition as a Living Treasure of Hawaiʻi stands between the Consul General of Japan Yasushi Misawa and Misawa’s wife

University of Hawaiʻi Professor Dennis Masaaki Ogawa was one of five individuals honored as a Living Treasure of Hawaiʻi by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaiʻi.

Over the past four decades, the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaiʻi has recognized more than 190 men and women as Living Treasures of Hawaiʻi for their sustained contributions to enriching society. This year’s honorees also included a zoology specialist, a copper artist, a volunteer and a master of Hawaiian language.

About Dennis Masao Ogawa

Born in Manzanar, California, Ogawa received his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1969, where he was honored as one of the founders of the university’s Asian American Studies Center. That same year, he joined the American studies department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where he pioneered the first courses on Japanese Americans. He continues his tenure till today, educating students on the Japanese American experience and encouraging them to develop a deep appreciation of their own cultural heritage.

Professor Ogawa’s books, a number of which are University of Hawaiʻi Press best sellers, include Jan Ken Po: The World of Hawaiʻi’s Japanese Americans, Kodomo No Tame Ni: For The Sake of The Children and An Unlikely Revolutionary: Matsuo Takabuki and The Making of Modern Hawaiʻi (assisted in autobiography).

A recipient of numerous awards, Professor Ogawa last year received the commendation from the Japanese Consulate in Honolulu.