Asato, Noriko

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Noriko Asato, Ph.D.

Noriko Asato is assistant professor of Library and Information Science at the University of Hawaii Department of Information and Computer Sciences. She has published several journal articles on Japanese American History and Library Science. Her most recent monograph is Teaching Mikadoism: The Attack on Japanese Language Schools in Hawaii, California, and Washington, 1919-1927 (University of Hawaii Press, 2006).


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
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    The Rise and Fall of the Wonder Okinawa Digital Archive: Comparing Japanese and American Conceptualizations of Digital Archives
    ( 2016-12-07) Wertheimer, Andrew ; Asato, Noriko
    This paper examines the development of what once was Japan’s largest local digital archive, Wonder Okinawa, created in 2003. It collected a diverse view of Okinawa’s cultural properties as a treasure house for future generations. It was created under the banner of establishing an Okinawan “brand” to promote tourism and to nurture human resources, so that Okinawa could foster a hub of IT industries. In the early 2000s, the national government envisioned digital archives as part of its scheme to become a highly networked society, as the means to address social problems, such as the low birthrate, graying population, and shrinking workforce. The digital archive project spearheaded the government’s effort. However, the $13.5 millon project was dismantled less than a decade after its spectacular debut. The paper analyzes the causes of the failure and explores some key differences between the conceptual model of digital archives in Japan and North America.
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    Library Exclusion and the Rise of Japanese Bookstores in Prewar Honolulu
    (The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion (IJIDI), 2019-02-10) Wertheimer, Andrew ; Asato, Noriko
    Research on the history of print culture and library service to immigrants in America has almost exclusively focused on European immigration to the East Coast. Such a narrative, sidelines the experience of Asian Americans among others. This article explores how the Library of Hawaii, which was the Territory’s main public library ignored the needs of Japanese immigrants at a time when they made up the largest ethnic group. In 1940, there were 157,905 Japanese Americans in the Territory including first generation Issei, many of whom had limited English proficiency as well as Hawaiʻi-born Nisei or second-generation. Excluded from the public library, the Issei created their own rich print culture including at least 41 stores selling Japanese language books. This paper is based on archival sources, published reports, and secondary studies to cover the library history. In addition, the forgotten history of Japanese bookstores and reading in Honolulu will be brought into light by mining articles and advertisements that appeared in Honolulu’s Japanese American newspapers from the late 1800s until the beginning of World War II, when Japanese bookselling came to an abrupt end. The paper makes advances in terms of research approaches for the study of immigrant print culture and also offers insight for librarians today to reflect on when they consider the challenge of serving immigrants.
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