May 11, 2018

Traditional Burial in Okinawa Captured in DVD

Filed under: resources — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

A company called Kaiensha (海燕社) released a 2-disc DVD set titled Sosen to no utage gangōsai: Yaese-chō Tōme, Kogusuku (=『祖先との宴 龕甲祭: 八重瀬町当銘・小城』).  The DVD is a documentary that depicts a historical burial known in Yaese town in Okinawa. The burial style is known since 1833, and the year 2017 marked the 6th 25 years anniversary.

DVD cover

One of the items in the Sakamaki/Hawley Collection titled Ryukyu fūzoku no zu (琉球風俗之図) was used for the DVD case jacket and in the documentary.

image from DVD

The same image can be seen at the University of the Ryukyus Library’s digital archives’ page.

According to Okinawa minzoku jiten (= roughly translated as the Dictionary of Okinawan Customs, 『沖縄民俗辞典』), 龕 (pronounced as “gan”) is a red portable shrine to carry a coffin to a burial site.

Watanabe, Yoshio. Okinawa Minzoku Jiten. Tōkyō: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 2008. p. 153-154.

Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum has a column that explains Okinawan burial systems.

Okinawa no sōbosei: Heisei 27-nendo no tokubetsuten ni mukete (in Japanese)

The newspaper, Ryukyu Shimpo, has an article about the 2017 gangōsai in Yaese Town.

“Gangōsai junbi ni netsu: 12-nen buri, 29-nichi muke jūmin kyōryoku, Yaese-cho Tōme, Kogusuku,” Ryukyu Shimpo, September 26, 2017. (「龕甲祭 準備に熱 12年ぶり、29日向け住民協力 八重瀬町当銘・小城」、琉球新報、2017年9月26日。)

The DVD set was a gift to the Library. It will be cataloged and become available to checkout from Sinclair Library. Stay tuned!

April 23, 2018

Maps of Taiwan under Japanese Colonization available from NDL in Japan

Filed under: resources — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

National Diet Library of Japan (NDL) announces that the maps of Taiwan created during the Japanese colonization period are now available on their site.

Research Navi

The Government Documents and Maps Department in Hamilton Library has some historical maps of China, Japan, and Russia.

Geographical Research Maps of China 1917

Because of Okinawa’s proximity to Taiwan and Fujian Province in China, the maps might be of interest to some researchers.


Also, researchers might find the newly acquired book titled “Okinawa sekimin” no Taiwan hikiage shōgenshū (= 『「沖縄籍民」の台湾引揚げ証言・資料集』)(Okinawa: University of the Ryukyus, 2018). Roughly translated, “Interviews of Okinawans who lived but left Taiwan after the WWII.”

April 16, 2018

Newly Available Items: Sekai no Uchinanchu

Filed under: diaspora,resources — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

Sekai no Uchinānchu [=『世界のウチナーンチュ』] vols. 2 & 3 are now available for checkout!

Sekai no Uchinanchu

  • Title: Sekai no uchinānchu / [hencho Ryūkyū Shinpōsha Henshūkyoku]. = 世界のウチナーンチュ / [編著琉球新報社編集局].
  • Edition: Shohan. | 初版.
  • Publisher: Naha-shi : Hirugisha, 1986. | 那覇市 : ひるぎ社, 1986.
  • Description: 3 volumes : color illustrations, maps ; 21 cm
  • Subjects: Ryukyuans–Foreign countries.
  • Other Name(s): Ryūkyū Shinpōsha. Henshūkyoku. | 琉球新報社. 編集局.

UH Mānoa Library now uses a plastic cover to keep the original book jacket. Please do not remove the clear, plastic book jacket from the items.

April 15, 2018

KZOO Radio Show

Filed under: events,news — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 8:30 PM

In the afternoon of Sunday, April 15, 2018, a local, Hawaii radio, KZOO (1210 kHz), Prof. Yuma Totani, one of the Library Treasures Initiative organizers at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (UHM), Prof. Masato Ishida, Director of the Center for Okinawan Studies (COS) at UHM, and the Okinawa Studies Librarian as its guests.

COS and Treasures Library Initiative and Okinawa Collection



The talk and questions surrounded the UHM Library’s April 25 event titled Hawley and Sakamaki: The Founding of UHM Ryukyuan Studies. Prof. Totani explained how the Colloquium Series started, informed the listeners what the Library Treasures Initiative aimed to achieve by hosting colloquia, and whether or not the colloquia have been open to the community.

Some of the past colloquia can be accessed from the UH Mānoa Library’s “News” section.

COS Director, Prof. Ishida, added a special guest speaker for the April 25 event. Prof. Manabu Yokoyama has been working on Frank Hawley, a British journalist who built a personal collection with Ryukyuan materials. His collection included other than Ryukyus, but UHM Library’s Hawley Collection consists of Hawley’s Ryukyuan resources. Dr. Shunzō Sakamaki, who was President of UH Summer School at the time, purchased the Hawley’s Ryukyu collection and brought it to Hawai’i. The readers can learn more about the purchase and the role that Okinawan community in Hawai’i played in great detail here.

The details of the April 25 Colloquium can be found here.

Registration is not required. 

April 10, 2018

Event Update: special speaker for Treasures at UH Hamilton Library colloquium series

Filed under: events,news — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 11:00 AM

Update for April 25, 2018 event. Date & Time remain the same as previously announced. 

Prof. Manabu Yokoyama, the author of Shomotsu ni miserareta Eikoku-jin: Furanku Hōrē to Nihon bunka (『書物に魅せられた英国人: フランク・ホーレーと日本文化』) [= An Englishman’s enchantment with books: Frank Hawley and Japanese culture] (2003), will join us as an expert commentator.

Hawley and Sakamaki

The Library’s Asia Collection is home to world-renowned Sakamaki/Hawley Collection that contains over 5,000 items, the bulk of which being Ryūkyū and Okinawa source materials dating back to the 1400s to the 1960s, written in various European languages, Chinese, Japanese, and “Uchināguchi,” the Ryukyuan language. This collection became an integral part of the UHM library treasures thanks to Frank Hawley (1906-1961), an English journalist and an avid book collector with personal ties with Japan, and Dr. Shunzō Sakamaki (1906-1973), a professor of history at UHM and the “father of Ryukyuan Studies” at UHM.

This colloquium will explore afresh the genesis and the breadth of this collection to promote its use by our students and faculty as well as researchers beyond the UHM community. Sachiko Iwabuchi, Okinawa Studies Librarian, will showcase unique items from the collection. Moreover, Professor Manabu Yokoyama, the author of Shomotsu ni miserareta Eikoku-jin: Furanku Hōrē to Nihon bunka [An Englishman’s enchantment with books: Frank Hawley and Japanese culture] (2003), will join us as an expert commentator, and share with us his professional insights into the significance of this collection. Professor Yokoyama is a research fellow at the Ryusaku Tsunoda Center for Japanese Culture, Research Institute for Letters and Sciences, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan.

April 6, 2018

Film: A Diplomat and Okinawa Reversion

Filed under: resources — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

A new Japanese film titled Henkan Kōshōnin [返還交渉人] will be released in the theater in Japan. The movie is about a Japanese diplomat named CHIBA Kazuo [千葉一夫], who played a critical role in the negotiation of Okinawa’s reversion to Japan.

Henkan Koshonin

[Image source:]

There are some books on Chiba Kazuo. The Library has a copy of the following title.

A sample of the book review is available from Tokyo Shinbun’s online version, Tokyo Web.

[S.n.]. (2017, December 3). Shohyō Boku wa Okinawa o toromodoshitai : ishoku no gaikōkan Chiba Kazuo. Tokyo Shinbun Tokyo WEb. Retrieved from

April 2, 2018

Treasures at UH Hamilton Library: Incurable Perfectionist Frank Hawley

Filed under: events — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

The College of Arts & Humanities and Thomas Haley Hamilton Library have been hosting a colloquium series. In April 2018, the Okinawa Studies Librarian will shed light on one of the Library’s treasures–the Sakamaki/Hawley Collection–in Asia Department.

Fransk Hawley: The Incurable Perfectionist

The Library’s Asia Collection is home to world-renowned Okinawa materials held in the Sakamaki/Hawley Collection. Part of the collection is Frank Hawley’s personal library, focusing on the Ryukyu Kingdom and Okinawa. The other part is from the collection of Dr. Shunzo Sakamaki, a Nisei Japanese-American, who was the Dean of the Summer School at the University of Hawai’i. Sakamaki Hall was named after him.

How did Hawley build his collection? What books does the collection contain? What led Dr. Sakamaki to believe that the Hawley’s Ryukyu/Okinawa books should be part of the UH collection? This talk will address these questions while showcasing samples from this very unique collection of Hamilton Library.

Registration is not required. 

Questions? Please contact:

  • Phone: 808-956-2311
  • Email:

March 28, 2018

New Acquisition: Okinawan Immigrants in Taiwan

Filed under: diaspora,resources — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 3:00 PM

The Okinawa Collection at UH is pleased to announce that it received a copy of the book titled “Okinawa sekimin” no Taiwan hikiage shōgenshū (= 「沖縄籍民」の台湾引揚げ証言・資料集)(Okinawa: University of the Ryukyus, 2018).


Book cover

inside Okinawa sekimin

This item focuses on the Okinawan people who immigrated to Taiwan and returned to Okinawa after the WWII. Many such returnees were interviewed. This book records such voices of the Okinawans who lived but came back to Okinawa.

This book will be cataloged and will become available for checkout.

March 19, 2018

New: Ryukyuan Languages Resources

Filed under: resources — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

The Okinawa Collection is pleased to announce that it added the following two items.

(1) Ryūkyū no kotoba no kakikata : Ryūkyū shogo tōitsuteki hyōkihō琉球のことばの書き方 : 琉球諸語統一的表記法 (Written in Japanese)

This book teaches the users how to write eleven Ryukyuan languages (from Amami to Yaeyama islands).

Ryukyuan Language Book

(2) Ryūkyū shogo to kodai Nihongo : Nichi-Ryū sogo no saiken ni mukete = Ryukyuan and premodern Japanese : toward the reconstruction of proto-Japanese-Ryukyuan琉球諸語と古代日本語 : 日琉祖語の再建にむけて (written in Japanese)


Ryukyuan Language Book

These books are cataloged and available for checkout.

March 14, 2018

STEM Education and Research in Okinawa and Hawaii

Filed under: announcement,events — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

The World Uchinanchu Business Association (WUB) Hawai‘i and the East-West Center, and the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) in Okinawa are going to host a panel discussion on “Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education and Research in Okinawa and Hawai‘i: Views from the Cutting Edge” in later this month.

STEM Panel Flyer

RSVP by March 16 by phone or email:

  • Phone: 808-944-7111
  • EWCInfo@EastWestCenter@org
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