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The Second HOKU (Honolulu Office of Kobe University) Symposium held

  • February 15, 2018
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  • Keywords: Event, International relations, Humanities

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On February 5, Kobe University held the Second HOKU (Honolulu Office of Kobe University) Symposium “Intra-Pacific Collaboration for Advanced Academic Research on Transborderness of Japanese People, Culture and Thoughts”. The event took place at Hawaii Imin International Conference Center, East-West Center.

The opening remarks were chaired by Professor YAMAMOTO Hideyuki (Director, Honolulu Office of Kobe University). Speakers Professor MIZUTANI Fumitoshi (Executive Vice President of Kobe University) and Professor Denise Konan (Dean of the College of Social Sciences, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa) expressed their hopes for increased US-Japan collaboration in education, research and academic training in order to promote development of higher education and improvements in academic research in the Americas and the pan-Pacific region.

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In the morning session, researchers from Kobe University presented on cross-cultural exchange, history, film, and Japanese court music (gagaku) under the theme of “Transnational Actors in Asia-Pacific: Practice, Discourse, and Representation". Researchers from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa participated as discussants, and an enthusiastic discussion and Q&A session took place, including members of the audience. Following this, researchers in the afternoon session from Kobe University, American University, and the University of Washington (handout-only participation due to speaker absence) spoke on philosophy, comparative thought, and literature under the theme of "Japanese Literature/Thought Crossing the Oceans: To Construct ‘Trans-border Japanese Studies’ ". After the presentations, discussants gave observations and opinions based on their areas of expertise, and the session ended with a lively discussion.

Professor KATAOKA Tohru (Vice President of Kobe University) made the closing remarks for the event. He talked about his expectations that the Honolulu Office would continue to act as a bridge between researchers in the USA, Japan and the pan-Pacific region through its symposia and workshops. Kobe University and the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa have been cooperating in the fields of medicine and economics for many years, and Professor Kataoka also expressed his hopes that this symposium provides an opportunity for our cooperation to expand into humanities fields.Professor KATAOKA Tohru (Vice President of Kobe University) made the closing remarks for the event. He talked about his expectations that the Honolulu Office would continue to act as a bridge between researchers in the USA, Japan and the pan-Pacific region through its symposia and workshops. Kobe University and the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa have been cooperating in the fields of medicine and economics for many years, and Professor Kataoka also expressed his hopes that this symposium provides an opportunity for our cooperation to expand into humanities fields.

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The symposium was a great success, and participants were able to reaffirm scholars’ high level of interest in Japan from a humanities perspective.

On the same day, Executive Vice President Mizutani, accompanied by Vice President Kataoka and Professor SHIMOMURA Ken-ichi (Director, Office of the Americas), visited the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and held a meeting with Dr. Anderson Sutton (Dean, School of Pacific and Asian Studies), Dr. Denise Konan (Dean, College of Social Sciences), Dr. Patricia Steinhoff (Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology), Dr. TARUI Nori (Associate Professor, Department of Economics), Dr. Petrice Flowers (Associate Professor, Department of Political Science) and Dr. KIMURA Ehito (Associate Professor and Undergraduate Chair, Department of Political Science). The participants confirmed their intentions to expand and strengthen academic exchange between both institutions, and discussed the promotion of research exchange across a broad spectrum of disciplines.

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Kobe University will continue to use the Honolulu Office as a key location for academic exchange in the pan-Pacific region, and promote collaboration and exchange with institutions in the United States and throughout the Pacific.

(International Affairs Planning Division)