News (2024)

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J-Current: our semi-annual newsletter can be viewed on our newsletter page.


Bento Box 8 – May 2024

[Wednesday, May 22, 2024]

CJS held its 8th Bento Box event on Monday, May 20, 2024 from 3:30p – 5:00p in the Tokioka Room. This special bento box featured Japan-studies scholars exploring the cultural, social, and political impacts of significant protest movements in Japan in the 1960s. Dr. Patricia Steinhoff, retired Professor of Sociology and former Director of the UH Mānoa Center for Japanese Studies, particiapted as a discussant to close the session. Special thanks to our presenters, Dr. Steinhoff, and Mitsutaka Nakamura, Japan Studies Librarian at UH Mānoa Hamilton Library for organizing this event.

Dr. Patricia Steinhoff with Dr. Adam Manfredi and David Wallace, Ph.D. candidate

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Summer 2024 EPIC Interns Arrive in Matsuyama, Ehime

[Wednesday, May 22, 2024]

The 2024 Ehime Prefectural International Center (EPIC) interns, Mr. Matthew Andres (UHM undergraduate student majoring in Business Management and minoring in Japanese) and Ms. Kaitlyn Tokunaga (UHM undergraduate student majoring in Accounting, Management Information Systems, and Japanese language) arrived safely in Matsuyama, Ehime prefecture on Sunday, May 19th, and have already reported to their first day of work (Monday, May 20th Japan time) and attended an orientation.

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Spring 2024 Japanese National Honor Society Inductees

[Friday, May 17, 2024]

Congratulations to the UH Mānoa students who were inducted into the Japanese National Honor Society-College Chapter (JNHS-CC) for the Spring 2024 semester! The JNHS recognizes and encourages achievement and excellence in Japanese language study.

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CJS Faculty and Affiliate Faculty to be Honored at UH Mānoa Awards Ceremony

[Monday, May 6, 2024]

Congratulations to our CJS Faculty and Affiliate Faculty who will be honored at the UH Mānoa Awards Ceremony in Kennedy Theatre this Wednesday, May 8, 2024!

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Tea with Kabuki Masters at Jaku’an Tea House

[Friday, April 26, 2024]

The Way of Tea Club invited CJS Faculty and Professor of Theatre Julie Iezzi, Kabuki Master Ichikawa Monnosuke VIII, Mrs. Yukika Soma, Kabuki Master Ichikawa Komazo XI, and CJS staff to the Jaku’an Tea House on Wednesday, April 24, 2024 for a tea ceremony. It was an honor to be served tea alongside two Kabuki masters, both here in Hawai’i supporting The Maiden Benten and the Bandits of the White Waves, a famous Kabuki production now in English at Kennedy Theatre until April 28, and made possible by the hard work of Dr. Iezzi and many others, including CJS Graduate Students, MFA, and PhD students.

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“The Oink in Okinawa” concludes the Spring 2024 seminar series

[Tuesday, April 23, 2024]

CJS concluded its Spring 2024 seminar series with “Oink in Okinawa: Rooting through changes in Okinawa’s heirloom pigs and cuisine” by Dr. Ben Schrager and Dr. Sayaka Sakuma. Both distinguished CJS alumni recently embarked on their academic careers at Utsunomiya University in Tochigi prefecture, Japan. They earned their Ph.D. in Geography at UH Mānoa in 2019 and 2020, respectively. They gave an update on their latest research about the  evolution of Okinawa’s relations to heirloom pigs and cuisine.

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Consul General Kodama Visits UH Law School

[Monday, April 22, 2024]

CJS Director and Law Professor Mark Levin welcomed the Consul General of Japan, Dr. Yoshinori Kodama, to the William S. Richardson School of Law for a long awaited visit on Friday, April 12, 2024.  After the Consul-General toured the school including the Law Library, he and Consul Keiko Okawa enjoyed a bento lunch with several of the Law School’s specialists in international law, including Professors Tae-Ung BaikRichard ChenDavid FormanCarole Petersen, and Melissa Stewart.

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CJS Affiliate Member Christopher Yohmei Blasdell Publishes Three Works in April 2024

[Thursday, April 18, 2024]

Congratulations to Christopher Yohmei Blasdel, CJS Affiliate member and lecturer at the UHM Music Dept, for publishing three works on the shakuhachi in April 2024: The Shakuhachi: A Learning Manual, Jiuta Sōkyoku Lyrics and Explanations, and Handbook of Japanese Music in the Modern Era.

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CJS Hosts April Seminar “Ryokan: Mobilizing Hospitality in Rural Japan”

[Wednesday, April 17, 2024]

On Tuesday, April 16, 2024, CJS held its second to last seminar of the Spring 2024 semester. Dr. Chris McMorran, Associate Professor of Japanese Studies at National University of Singapore, gave a talk “Ryokan: Mobilizing Hospitality in Rural Japan,” based on his book of the same name, available for sale now on the University of Hawaiʻi Press website. To an audience both in-person and online via Zoom, Dr. McMorran shared rich insights of his time spent in 2006 completing ethnographic field work, learning the ins-and-outs of living and working in a traditional ryokan in the famed Kurokawa Onsen in Kyushu, Japan.

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Embodied Time: Temporal Cues in Built Spaces, a new book by Dr. Kevin Nute

[Thursday, April 11, 2024]

Congratulations to School of Architecture Professor and CJS Affiliate Member Kevin Nute, who was recently featured in University of Hawaiʻi News for his new book, Embodied Time: Temporal Cues in Built Spaces, which has been shortlisted for a 2024 Architectural Book Award!

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A Field Trip to HoMA with Dr. Pier Carlo-Tommasi

[Monday, April 8, 2024]

On Thursday, April 4, 2024, CJS Director Mark Levin and former CJS Director Robert Huey joined Dr. Pier Carlo Tommasi and his JPN 613 students for a special field trip to the Honolulu Museum of Art.

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The Maiden Benten and the Bandits of the White Waves

[Wednesday, April 3, 2024]

The popular Kabuki play, The Maiden Benten and the Bandits of the White Waves, commonly known as Benten Kozō, will be at the UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre from April 19-20 & April 26-28, 2024. This production celebrates the long tradition of kabuki in Hawaiʻi, and marks 100 years of English-language kabuki productions at UH as well as Kennedy Theatre’s 60th birthday. It is made possible in large part by our very own CJS Faculty and Professor of Theatre, Dr. Julie Iezzi, who has worked tirelessly to bring this production to life.

Learn more about the production and buy your tickets at manoa.hawaii.edu/liveonstage/benten/ before seats run out!

From UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre’s Media Release:

Under the expert guidance of UHM Theatre Professor Julie A. Iezzi and the collaborative efforts of several kabuki masters, students, and local artists, the stage is set for a spectacular celebration of kabuki’s charm, appeal, and timeless significance.

From UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre media release

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Lunch Mixer and a Walkthrough of the Kabuki in Hawaiʻi Exhibit

[Wednesday, March 27, 2024]

On Friday, March 15, 2024, CJS held a lunch mixer at the Tokioka Room for graduate students, faculty, and staff.

Graduate students, faculty and staff enjoying bentos at the CJS Graduate Student and Faculty Lunch Mixer

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Aichi University Mini-Symposium March 2024

[Friday, March 22, 2024]

CJS hosted the annual Aichi University Mini-Symposium on March 7, 2024 in Moore Hall 258. This symposium is made possible by the collaboration between Aichi University and the Pacific-Asian Legal Studies Organization at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

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Congratulations to AAS 2024 Conference Attendees

[Monday, March 18, 2024]

We had a wonderful team of CJS faculty who presented at the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Conference in Seattle, WA from March 14-17. Congratulations on your presentations, and thank you for representing UH Mānoa and the Center for Japanese Studies!

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Bento Box March 2024

[Monday, March 18, 2024]

CJS held its 7th Bento Box event on Friday, March 8, 2024 from 3:00p – 4:15p in the Tokioka Room. The CJS Bento Box series provides opportunities for CJS graduate students to present their research in a more informal setting, with their friends in the audience, and everyone having an opportunity to listen to the presentations while enjoying food and refreshments.

CJS Director Mark Levin providing an introduction to the bento box event

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Consul General Kodama Visits CJS and the UH Mānoa Campus

[Wednesday, March 6, 2024]

We were honored to have Consul General Yoshinori Kodama of the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu visit the Center for Japanese Studies as part of his introductory tour of the University of Hawaiʻi campuses. Consul General Kodama and Consul Okawa met with Japanese Studies Director Mark Levin, Center for Okinawan Studies Director Masato Ishida, and Professors Lonny Carlile and Kazue Kanno. It was a great opportunity to strengthen ties and contribute to our shared efforts in advancing Japanese studies.

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CJS Faculty at AAS Annual Conference 2024 in Seattle, WA from March 14-17

[Monday, February 26, 2024]

We have a wonderful team of CJS faculty who are presenting at the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Conference in Seattle, WA from March 14-17. Please say hello if you see them!

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A remarkable week for CJS with Dr. Sen and the Hawaiʻi House of Representatives

[Friday, February 23, 2024]

Last week, we shared a quick recap of the exciting events of the week of Valentine’s Day. Today, please enjoy this photo recap of both the February 14th Spirit of Tea and Peacefulness lecture by Dr. Sen, and the February 15th Recognition at the Hawaiʻi House of Representatives. We are also happy to announce that these events were featured on UH News, as well as local news stations KITV and Hawaii News Now.

A joyous group photo in the Capitol rotunda at the conclusion of the day’s events

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Dr. Genshitsu Sen returns for lecture and Jaku’an recognition at Hawaiʻi state legislature

[Friday, February 16, 2024]

The week of Valentine’s Day brought with it an amazing two days with Urasenke Chadō Tradition 15th-Generation Grand Master, Dr. Genshitsu Sen.

Dr. Genshitsu Sen posing with his younger self

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Hanging out at the Spring 2024 Graduate Student Mixer

[Friday, February 2, 2024]

Graduate students pose for a group picture at the Spring 2024 CJS Graduate Student Mixer

CJS held its Spring 2024 Graduate Student Mixer on Tuesday, January 30, 2024 in the Tokioka Room, where a watch party was held for CJS community member Brandon Marc Higa’s presentation right before.

Brandon Marc Higa (first from the right) poses for pictures with friends and supporters who came to watch his presentation in the Tokioka Room watch party

Held once a semester, the CJS Graduate Student Mixer is an opportunity for graduate students to learn more about the scholarships and other resources that CJS offers, and also a chance for them to unwind and enjoy food and good company while sharing research interests.

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Brandon Marc Higa’s Presentation on Recent Japan Court Decisions on Marriage Equality

[Thursday, February 1, 2024]

Congratulations to Brandon Marc Higa, S.J.D. candidate at the William S. Richardson School of Law, and active CJS community member, for a great job on his live presentation to an online audience of ~80 spanning Hawaiʻi and Japan!

Brandon behind the scenes of his online presentation

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Hatsudate Shiki – First of Year Tea Ceremony at Jaku’an Tea House

[Wednesday, January 31, 2024]

The UHM Center for Japanese Studies was honored to welcome State Representative Andrew Takuya Garrett as a guest for the Hatsudate Shiki (first of the year tea ceremony) at the Jaku’an Tea House on the UH Mānoa campus on Sunday, January 28, 2024.

CJS Director Mark Levin (left) with Hawaiʻi State Representative Andrew Takuya Garrett (right) posing for a picture together before the Hatsudate Shiki

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Lunch at the Jaku’an Tea House

[Friday, January 26, 2024]

The Jaku’an Japanese Tea House in the Seien Japanese Gardens behind the East-West Center, hosted a lunch gathering for Center for Japanese Studies Director Mark Levin, Way of Tea Instructor Akiko Riley, and wonderful guests from the East-West Center on Tuesday, January 23, 2024.

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Ehime Maru Memorial Cleanup by CJS Community

[Monday, January 22, 2024]

CJS staff and community members joined hands for the biannual cleanup at the Ehime Maru Memorial in Kaka’ako Waterfront Park. Erected in 2002, the memorial commemorates the nine lives (four students, two teachers, and three crew) lost in the tragic 2001 collision between the USS Greeneville and the Ehime Maru, a Japanese fishery high-school training ship from Ehime prefecture.

CJS Community hard at work. At left, 2023 UHM Summer interns at the Ehime Prefectural International Center, Marques Batoon and Melody Matsumoto.

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