Honors Projects for Asian Studies

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Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
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    Image and Identity: Japan’s Adoption of Little Black Sambo and Hip-Hop
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2015-08) Fagan, Joanna ; Satsuma, Gay ; Asian Studies
    American Post-Emancipation and Reconstruction Era imagery constructs of African Americans in print and media assumed stereotypical inferences that facilitated racist identity classifications of Blacks. From the 19th century, Japan’s racial identity within the global context was transformed by Western influence. The 1899 children’s book by Helen Bannerman, Little Black Sambo, was introduced and reprinted into the stereotypical depictions, marking one of many racist African American image constructs to cross to Japan. In Japan, this stereotypical image rendering has been perpetuated for 60 years, amidst protests and changes in U.S. depictions of the book. Little Black Sambo and Japanese reprint, Chibikuro Sanbo (1953), has seen a revival in Japanese culture in recent years. Comparatively, the transference of Black image constructs through the hip-hop/rap genre to Japan, has led to the replication and fusion – with Japanese aesthetics – of “blackness.” Over the years, hip-hop culture has become a lucrative business enterprise; in the U.S. the commoditization of rap has been the main vehicle used to reach not only American White audiences but a global audience as well. Notably though, Japan does not have the context of American slavery and racial suppression to identify with the political, social, and cultural connotations of hip-hop’s origins. Thus, through films, music, and literature, the Japanese saw the African American through American hegemonic media sources. This project’s aim is to study the possible restructuring and reinforcement of old negative image characterizations of African Americans in America and subsequently in Japan.
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    Twilight Lives: The Representation of Autism in Japanese Millennial Media
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014-09-26) Pitts, Emily ; Yano, Christine ; Asian Studies
    The alien has a remarkable ability to take numerous varying forms within the imaginations of many individuals; living as both a being and a state of being even within the same mind. When my research first began, my greatest interest was in discovering how the alien was formed in art and in the media and why it took on certain characteristics, particularly within the Japanese culture. However, the concept’s permeability made it quite difficult to capture and cut down into something manageable for that specific topic. After months of frustration and misdirection, attempting to narrow down such a large idea into a genre or theme, I took a moment to step back and understand the pull I felt toward the research. I needed to expand the issue until the larger picture was readily visible. That picture was social alienation.
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    Unraveling the Knot: An Analysis of Vietnamese/Cambodian Relations 1970-1979
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014-01-15) Shepard, Jeffrey ; Asian Studies
    Scholar David Elliot refers to the causes and consequences of the Third Indochinese War (1978-1979) as a "tangled knot" in that "finding definitive answers to the fundamental questions of causation is not an easy task". After researching Vietnamese/Cambodian relations from the year 1970 to 1979, I have also come to the conclusion that relations between the two Indochinese nations was indeed a "tangled knot". The Communist parties of both Vietnam and Cambodia begun this decade as apparent allies, but by 1978 they would become engaged in the first war between Communist nations. This thesis will attempt to examine the web of historical and political factors which led to this conflict.
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    The Soto Mission of Hawaii: Continuities and Change within a Zen Sect of Buddhism
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014-01-15) Rhodes, Robert ; Asian Studies
    Sunday morning. The Hawaiian sunshine bathes the Soto Zen Mission on Nuuanu Avenue. It is a few minutes before nine. Two large vans bearing the name of the Soto Mission roar into the parking lot and dis- charge a number of laughing children, all Japanese-American sansei or yonsei. Some stay outside in the bright sun talking with their friendsr others disappear into the temple.
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    Popular Culture as a Reflection of Society: Comparing the Japanese Manga to the American Comic Book
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014-01-15) Yoshinaga, Ida ; Asian Studies
    Until recently, scholars viewed popular culture as fast food for satisfying society's palate: cheap, mass-produced, mindlessly consumed, superficially appealing, and, ultimately, bad for the health.
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    Onna Daigaku and Selected Works of Monzaemon Chikamatsu and Ihara Saikaku
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014-01-15) Sugiyama, Denice ; Asian Studies
    nna Daigaku or The Greater Learning for Women, written in 1716, is attributed to Ikken Kaibara . Kaibara, a scholar of Japanese literature, had a great knowledge of Chinese literature and was known as a famous moralist. Onna Daigaku is attributed to Kaibara because it closely resembles the content of the chapter entitled "Women's Education" in his treatise on education, Wazoku Dojikun (1710) . Wakako Hironaka writes in the Kodansha Encyclopedia .
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    Inverse Relationships - The Cold War and the United States Reparations Politics for Japan
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014-01-15) Henderson, Paula ; Asian Studies
    Japan's present-day status as an economic superpower rests atop an earlier decades-long narrative that chronicles her remarkable postwar economic history which, in statistical expression, effectively began with the Korean War Boom. However, while the Korean War clearly served as a major stimulant to the revitalization of a Japanese growth economy, it more importantly suggests the realization of some underlying foundation already well enough entrenched to have secured Japan the special procurements contracts in the first place. This idea therefore necessitates another step back in time into the early years of the United States occupation of Japan.
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    Family Mythology, Dual Cultural Identity, and the Confucian Family in "Double Happiness" and "The Wedding Banquet"
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014-01-15) Smith, Michele ; Asian Studies
    In the stereotypical, Confucian-influenced "Chinese" model family, the group is paramount, and takes precedence over the needs and aspirations of the individual. This stands in contrast to the stereotypically "Western" view of the family, in which the identity of the individual is placed above that of the group, and the family is of decidedly less concern. Directors Ang Lee and Mina Shurn examine and critique the prevailing "Chinese" conceptions of the model Confucian family and the individual in their films The Wedding Banquet and Double Happiness, respectively. Both films show how people construct fictions that are untrue but essential to keep the family intact. The resultant "family mythology" (National Asian American Telecommunications Association 1) keeps the protagonists' families happy and creates a way for the protagonists to maintain dual cultural identities . The mythology helps family members fit into their often ill­ fitting Confucian roles, and the protagonists gain the ability move freely between Chinese and Western cultures, at least temporarily, without offending their parents.
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    The Use of Scrolls in Chanoyu and Utsushi - An Ethnographic Study in Honolulu and Kyoto
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2013-07-16) Geisse, Cristina
    In this study I approach the study of chanoyu using the native Japanese concept of utsushi, or the “art of copying”, to evaluate practitioners’ opinions and experiences related to the use of hanging scrolls, or kakemono. By reviewing the descriptions found in literature and also by observing practices in contemporary settings I have created an analysis of how, kakemono were used in the past with the intent of recording the changes in current expressions. The purpose of investigating the written records as well as personal experiences of practitioners was to better understand the idealized and formal discourse surrounding the use of scrolls--in other words the “tradition”--and to observe the transformations or adaptations performed by instructors and students in the actual settings. This research helps us to better understand the complexities of contemporary practice of tea in Japan and overseas, examining the tensions and contradictions that practitioners confront when choosing to use traditional utensils or new ones#.