Events (2024)

page last updated Spring 2024

The Center for Japanese Studies sponsors a series of public lectures by faculty members and visiting scholars on various topics from recent research to personal impressions of current events in Japan. The Center also provides workshops on topics of interest to graduate students focusing on Japan, including careers in Japanese studies, scholarships, and overseas study programs.

For accessibility access, please contact the Center at 956-2665 or at For information on visitor parking at UHM, please visit the campus commuter services page here.

Event Archive: 2024 (current) | 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018

Bento Box – May 2024

The 8th in the Center for Japanese Studies “Bento Box” special event series

Monday, May 20, 2024 • 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM HST • Tokioka Room (Moore Hall 319) • VIEW FLYER


Dr. Adam Manfredi, Ph.D. 

Japanese and Comparative Literature
Washington University, St. Louis, MO.

“Murakami Haruki and Japan’s 1968”

David Wallace, Ph.D. Candidate

Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
University. of Illinois Urbana Champaign

“Decades of Resistance: Method and Motivation in the Struggle Against New Tokyo International Airport (1964-Present)”

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2025 MEXT Research Scholarship Information Session

Tuesday, April 30, 2024 • 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM HST • Moore Hall 155A / Zoom

RSVP by April 26 to receive the ZOOM link

The oink in Okinawa: Rooting through changes in Okinawa’s heirloom pigs and cuisine

A Center for Japanese Studies in-person seminar co-sponsored with the UH Mānoa Center for Okinawan Studies

Monday, April 22, 2024 • 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM HST • Moore Hall 258 • VIEW FLYER


Dr. Benjamin Schrager

Assistant Professor

Division of Agricultural Economics
School of Agriculture
Utsunomiya University

Dr. Sayaka Sakuma

Program Research Associate

Center for Promotion of Social Co-creation
Utsunomiya University

A rich culture of rearing and eating pigs emerged during the independent Ryukyu Kingdom. As Japan colonized Ryukyu and renamed it Okinawa Prefecture, pigs persisted as a resilient and distinct characteristic of Okinawan society. This presentation develops the idea of a companion breed to explore the unique relationship between Okinawans and their heirloom pigs. Here, we explore how this special partnership enabled unique socio-ecological formations to emerge and evolve. Historically called “island pigs” (shima buta) and today widely called “Agu,” Okinawa’s oldest heirloom pig breed is a small black pot-bellied pig that likely first arrived in the latter part of the 14th century but only thrived after the introduction of sweet potatoes in the early 17th century. This presentation focuses on local responses to three changes in sovereign administration. The first change is the interwar effort by the Japanese government to introduce Western bacon-type breeds like the Berkshire to replace island pigs. The second change is the postwar effort by the US government to disseminate Western pig breeds and industrialize pig husbandry. The third change is the post-reversion effort of Japanese industries to market value-added “Agu” pork as heirloom pig from Okinawa. These changes elicited a range of responses in Okinawa as relations to heirloom pigs and cuisine have continued to evolve.

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Ryokan: Mobilizing Hospitality in Rural Japan

A Center for Japanese Studies hybrid seminar co-sponsored with University of Hawaiʻi Press

Tuesday, April 16, 2024 • 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM HST • Moore Hall 258/ZOOM • VIEW FLYER


Dr. Chris McMorran

Associate Professor of Japanese Studies

National University of Singapore

Dr. McMorran will be giving a presentation on his book “Ryokan: Mobilizing Hospitality in Rural Japan”.

Kurokawa Onsen is a rare bright spot in Japan’s countryside. Its two dozen traditional inns (ryokan) annually host hundreds of thousands of guests who admire its landscape, experience its hospitality, and soak in its hot springs. As a result, these ryokan have enticed village youth to return home to take over successful family businesses and revive the community. What does it take to produce this family business and one of Japan’s most relaxing spaces, and who does the day-to-day labor of hospitality? In this talk, I share findings from a year spent welcoming guests, carrying luggage, scrubbing baths, cleaning rooms, washing dishes, and talking with co-workers and owners about their jobs, relationships, concerns, and aspirations. I share how Kurokawa’s ryokan mobilize hospitality to create a rural escape, emphasizing the gendered work or hospitality, as well as the generational work of ryokan owners vs. the daily embodied work of their employees.

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Bento Box – March 2024

The 7th in the Center for Japanese Studies “Bento Box” special event series

Friday, March 8, 2024 • 3:00 PM – 4:15 PM HST • Tokioka Room (Moore Hall 319) • VIEW FLYER


Richard Barnes, Ph.D. Candidate

UH Mānoa History Department

“Bones in the Earth”

J.D. Parker, Ph.D. Candidate

UH Mānoa Educational Foundations Program – College of Education

“The Development of Human Rights Education in Japan: A Comparative Case Study of Local Implementation of Global Educational Policy”

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Aichi University Mini-Symposium

An Aichi University and Pacific-Asian Legal Studies event hosted by the Center for Japanese Studies

Thursday, March 7, 2024 • 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM HST • Moore Hall 258 • VIEW FLYER

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Recognition of 50 years of the Jaku’an Tea House at UH Mānoa

Thursday, February 15, 2024 • Hawaiʻi House of Representatives • VIEW FLYER

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The Spirit of Tea and Peacefulness

A Center for Japanese Studies special seminar co-sponsored with UHM CJS Way of Tea Center and the UHM History Department

Wednesday, February 14, 2024 • 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM HST • UH Mānoa Campus Center • VIEW FLYER

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Reflections on Japan’s Same-Sex Marriage Cases (2021-2023): The Fight to Enshrine the Right to Sexual Autonomy

A special co-sponsored webinar by Pacific-Asian Legal Studies, Lawyers for LGBT Allies Network, and the Center for Japanese Studies

Tuesday, January 30, 2024 • 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM HST • VIEW FLYER

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Graduate Student Mixer Spring 2024

Tuesday, January 30, 2024 • 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM HST • VIEW FLYER

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