Kaori Akiyama

Kaori Akiyama is a museum professional and researcher who was born in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. She lived in Hawai‘i from 1999 to 2009 and earned a B.A. in Anthropology and a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. During that time, she also worked at three museums, including the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i (as a researcher) and the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum (as a conservation assistant).

Currently, she is employed by the Matsumoto City Museum. In her spare time, she writes articles in Japanese and English on the culture and people of Hawai‘i. Her goal is to acquaint Japanese people with the “real” Hawai‘i and its people, and to enhance global awareness of the cultural connections between Hawai‘i and Japan.

Updated February 2011

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An Exhibit That Brings Japanese Americans Into Japanese History - Part 3 of 3

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Section 3: A Cross Cultural View: The View From People Between Countries

To me, the most confusing section of the exhibit was the one entitled “Foreign Correspondents in Occupied Japan,” although it also tried to express the theme of “people who were moving between countries” in the war era. Having no permission for residence in wartime, these correspondents were similar to Japanese in the U.S. at that time. However, the sudden change of the protagonists from “Japanese people” to “foreign correspondents” made me lose the thread of the exhibit. Probably this section intended to use their ...

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An Exhibit That Brings Japanese Americans Into Japanese History - Part 2 of 3

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Section 2: Repatriation

The second section featured a major drama of the exhibition, from the time when the relationship between the U.S. and Japan began to decline until the end of WW2, entitled “Immigrants and the Outbreak of War Between the U.S. and Japan —Anti-Japanese Movements, Incarceration and Repatriation.” Although the section covers a long period with important historical events, the narrative relied on the presence of the Repatriation Ships to show the dynamism of the movement of people.

At the entrance to this section, the audience was informed about the shifting status of Japanese ...

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An Exhibit That Brings Japanese Americans Into Japanese History - part 1 of 3

Introduction

The exhibit entitled Japanese Immigrants in the United States and the War Era at the National Museum of Japanese History, Chiba, Japan closed on April 3, 2011 after a year-long opening to the public. It was a special exhibit to commemorate the opening of the Sixth Exhibit Room of the museum in March 2010, which displays contemporary history. Some might think that this national museum mainly focuses on Japanese history, meaning events that took place in Japan. However, this project was designed to shed light on “the views of people living as others,” including the Issei, who went to ...

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Searching the Home of Mujina: For Glen Grant - Part 3

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During the Edo Period (1603-1868), there was a great flowering of ghost stories in many areas ranging from art to entertainment. Reider (2000) explains the psychology of the Edo people: because travel abroad was forbidden, there was a heightened perception of foreign lands, particularly China, as exotic places where mysterious things were believed to happen (p. 278). The parents of the issei grew up in late Edo culture and passed its longing for the cultural other to their children who later came to Hawaii.]

According to Ogawa (1978), the first 150 Japanese arrived to Hawaii in 1868 ...

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Searching the Home of Mujina: For Glen Grant - Part 2

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The theme of the revengeful female spirit is still alive today in Japanese films. Probably the best-known recent example of a popular Japanese horror film in America is The Ring,1 (2002) which remakes the Japanese original for American audiences. The story contains a faceless female ghost with beautiful long hair that covers her face.  She is shown on a strange video and anyone who sees the video dies in a certain number of days. There may be some echoes of this popular Japanese type of revengeful ghost in the Hawaiian mujina, especially if people who see ...

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