Inaugural "Okinawan Discovery Series" to Feature Two UH Experts

University of Hawaiʻi
Gary Honda, (808) 676-5400
Hawaii United Okinawa Association
Shawn Nakamoto, (808) 956-9095
Director of Public Relations
Posted: Mar 12, 2002

On Monday, March 18, 2002, the Hawaii United Okinawa Association (HUOA) will launch an exciting new educational series for its members and the community at large.

The "Okinawan Discovery Series" will be an ongoing program highlighting Okinawa and Okinawan-related topics. The HUOA‘s partner in the program is the University of Hawaiʻi, which has graciously offered to share its experts with the HUOA. Most of the programs will be free of charge and open to the public.

Dr. Ken Y. Kaneshiro, an entomologist who worked with Okinawan scientists in 1988 on the eradication of fruit flies in Okinawa, will open the March 18 program. Kaneshiro has directed the Center for Conservation Research and Training at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa since 1993. He will introduce some of the "natural living treasures" extremely rare species of plants, birds and insects found only in Okinawa. He will also talk about a few of the special plant and animal species found only in the Hawaiian Islands. Kaneshiro has been invited to speak at many national and international conferences and symposia many of them on fruit fly eradication. He also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi.

The second lecture, presented by Tokiko Y. Bazzell, the Japan Specialist Librarian at UH Mānoa‘s Hamilton Library, will focus on one of the University of Hawaiʻi‘s genuine treasures the Sakamaki/Hawley Collection. Hawaii‘s Okinawan community was directly involved in the acquisition of the Sakamaki/Hawley Collection which includes rare and ancient Ryukyuan manuscripts, maps, scrolls and prints by raising $5,000 of the total $20,000 purchase price. When the collection became available in 1961 following the sudden death of its owner, English journalist Frank Hawley,UH Mānoa Professor of Asian History Dr. Shunzo Sakamaki, went to Okinawa to negotiate the purchase of the collection from Hawley‘s Okinawan widow. Remarkably, the materials had survived the devastation of Okinawa during World War II. Two highly respected Okinawa scholars described the collection as containing "superior" materials and many researchers and scholars from around the world have used the materials in the Hawley/Sakamaki Collection for their research.

Last November, Kaneshiro and Bazzell accompanied University of Hawaiʻi President Evan Dobelle on his first trip to Okinawa, which was his first official international trip as UH President. Both delivered papers at a University of Hawaiʻi-University of the Ryukyus symposium that focused on resource and knowledge sharing between the sister universities. Hawaii‘s 10-member delegation also included Dr. Joyce Tsunoda, University of Hawaiʻi Senior Vice President and Chancellor for Community Colleges. Tsunoda also serves as President Dobelle‘s special advisor on international education.

The March 18th event will open at 6:30 p.m. with light refreshments and a program of Okinawan music and dance. The presentations begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free and the program is open to the general public.