Humanities Advisors

The production team will be guided by academic scholars and advisors with expertise in Japanese emigration/immigration to Hawaii, Japanese American studies, Japanese cultural history, Hawaiian culture and history, Japan and Hawaii/American foreign policy, politics, history, economy and social culture.

Masafumi Honda is an associate professor of Japanese Studies and Language at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. His area of support includes Japan, Japanese immigration history in Hawaii and Japanese American history in Hawaii and the United States. He has been conducting research, teaching and publishing about the Japanese in Hawaii in the areas of politics, culture, identity and language for over 20 years. He is the team’s contact person for the Japanese Association for Migration Studies and will help us present this project at the annual conference in Osaka in 2016.

Erika Hori is a lecturer with the Graduate School of Languages and Cultures at Nagoya University. She is the premier expert on Katsu Goto in Japan as her doctoral dissertation “Changing Images of Katsu Goto: A Study of Memories of a Kanyaku Imin in Hawaii,” necessitated extensive research on Goto in Hawaii and Japan. She was also a Prince Akihito scholar to the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Yoshinori Kato was an East West scholar and received his doctorate from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is a resident of Oiso, Japan, the town where Katsu Goto was born and raised and has been doing extensive research on Goto, his family, locations of interest, etc. in Oiso. He has also met with the Oiso Mayor and Council regarding Katsu Goto and retained their help for the project.

Christine Kitano is an assistant professor of creative writing with the department of English at Ithaca College and a guest lecturer in the American Studies department at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, teaching Japanese Americans Studies. She is an expert on the Japanese American experience in Hawaii.

Mariko Takagi Kitayama is a professor with the Department of English Language and Cultures at Aichi Gakuin University in Nagoya. One of the leading experts on Japanese Americans in Hawaii and the U.S. mainland in Japan, she is currently researching Katsu Goto and creating an exhibit on Goto at the Aichi Gakuin University.

Seri I. Luangphinith is chair of the Humanities Division at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Her most recent publication for Cambridge University Press’ “History of Asian American Literature” involves an analysis of racial identity within the social and political context of Hawaii. She has committed funds from the Humanities Division to this documentary project.

Gail M. Makuakane Lundin is the interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs and the director of the Kipuka Native Hawaiian Student Center at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. She will serve as a resource and advisor for Hawaii and as a practitioner and scholar of Hawaiian history, culture and traditional Hawaiian protocols.

Manulani Aluli Meyer is an international indigenous scholar-practitioner and is currently a facilitator with the University West Oahu campus. She holds a doctorate from Harvard University and will discuss the rise of capitalism as a point of historical tension bringing a new paradigm of power, control and land tenure to the Hawaiian nation.

Eileen Naughton is the director of the Heritage Center at the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s North Hawaii Education and Research Center in Honokaa. The Heritage Center features permanent and temporary exhibits focusing on the history and culture of Honokaa and the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island. The Heritage Center will feature an exhibit area on Katsu Goto’s life and legacy to the sugar plantations, thus she is knowledgeable about Goto and his life. Holding a doctorate in anthropology, Naughton focuses on how heritage is presented and interpreted.

Junichi Noumaru is a native of Japan, has a doctorate degree from Kyoto University and has lived in Hilo, Hawaii for 18 years. He has become extremely knowledgeable about the history, culture and values of Japanese Americans in Hawaii and can compare and contrast that with his knowledge of Japan and Japanese culture. This knowledge and fluency in Japanese and English and his extensive contacts in Japan, has helped the team establish and maintain communication with Japanese organizations and sources.

Franklin S. Odo is a John Jay McCloy Visiting Professor of American Institutions and Foreign Diplomacy at Amherst College and on the Princeton University East Asian Studies Department Advisory Council. He was the founding director of the Asian Pacific American Center at the Smithsonian Institution, was the chief of the Asian Division at the Library of Congress and was a visiting professor at Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania. His employment, professional appointments, activities, publications and projects make him a national advisor on the Japanese American experience.

Dennis M. Ogawa is a professor of American Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and recently received a Commendation from the Consul General of Japan for his community engagement with Japanese Americans in Hawaii. He is recognized for his extensive research, teaching and publishing in the area of Japanese American studies, ethnic identity and multicultural studies. Ogawa is the administrator of the “Goto of Hiroshima Dr. Fumiko Kaya Scholarship Fund” through the American Studies Department at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

He has committed to supporting the documentary by providing translation of English to Japanese subtitles for both the preview and final documentary and the airing of a preview on cable television in Hawaii through his company Nippon Golden Network.

Curtis Takada Rooks is an assistant professor in Asian Pacific American Studies and American Cultures at Loyola Marymount University. He brings 25 plus years of experience on Japanese American studies as an enthographer, teacher, scholar and community leader. He will be able to provide methodological, theoretical, historical and applied research expertise to the project.

Ross W. Stephenson is the lead coordinator of the Historic Honokaa Town Project and has done extensive research in land and property in Honokaa Town, including Katsu Goto’s store. As the former Keeper of the Hawaii Register of Historic Places, he is a respected historian who can comment on Goto’s trial and the politics and policies of the time period.

Paul Watanabe is an associate professor and the director of the Institute for Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is on the President’s Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and chair of the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations for the Census Bureau. He brings his extensive knowledge and expertise on race and ethnicity, potlitics and foreign policy, violence and understanding, war and reconciliation, immigration, labor organizing, activism and advocacy, all through the Japanese American experience.