Center for Japanese Studies at UC Berkeley presents Hapa Japan Conference April 8-9


BERKELEY — The Center for Japanese Studies, along with the Hapa Japan Database Project and All Nippon Airways, will host the Hapa Japan Conference Friday and Saturday,  April 8-9, featuring specialists in the study of mixed-race Japanese history, identity and representation. Topics range from the history of mixed-race Japanese in the 1500s, part-Japanese communities in Australia, to the exploration of identity and representation through storytelling, films and a photo exhibit.


Friday, April 8

UC Berkeley Alumni House,

Toll Room


9 a.m.: Welcome and Opening Remarks by Convener — Duncan Ryûken Williams (UC Berkeley and Hapa Japan Database Project)

9:30 to 11:30 a.m.: Session I — Global History and Mixed-Race Japanese

• Part-Japanese in Japan and the World, 1543-1859 — Gary Leupp (Tufts University) professor of history, Ph.D. Michigan; author of “Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900” (Continuum, 2003).

Japanese Hybridity and Meiji/Showa InfluenceVelina Hasu Houston (University of Southern California) professor and associate dean of Faculty, School of Theater; Ph.D. USC; playwright of “Tea,” “Asa Ga Kimashita,” “Calling Aphrodite,” “Messy Utopia” and “Calligraphy”; Faculty advisor for HapaSC

• “I Identify All the Cultures Equally”: Japanese-Indigenous and Other Mixed Heritage Australians in Northern Australia — Yuriko Yamanouchi (Osaka University of Economics and Law) visiting researcher; Ph.D. Sydney; author of “Searching for Aboriginal People in South Western Sydney” (2008)

• Discussant: Duncan Ryûken Williams (UC Berkeley) Shinjo Ito Distinguished Chair in Japanese Buddhism, Ph.D. Harvard.

11:50 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Session II — The Celtic Samurai: Storytelling of a Transnational/Transracial Family Life

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu (Stanford University) consulting professor, School of Medicine; Ed.D. Harvard – “The Voices of Amerasians: Ethnicity, Identity, and Empowerment of Interracial Japanese Americans” (1987); author of “Amerasian no kodomo tachi: Shirarezaru minority mondai” (Shûeisha, 2002) and “Multicultural Encounters” (Columbia, 2002).

Discussant: Keiko Yamanaka (UC Berkeley) lecturer in ethnic studies, Ph.D. Cornell.

2:15 to 4 p.m.: Session III — World War Two, Occupation-Period Japan, and Racial Mixing

Enemies in Miniature: Recovering the Lives of the Mixed-Race Children of Occupied Japan — Walter Hamilton (former Tokyo-based Australian Broadcasting Corporation journalist); author of “Lest We Beget: The Mixed-Race Legacy of Occupied Japan” (2011).

Multiraciality and Migration: Mixed Race American Japanese in Okinawa 1945-1972Lily Anne Yumi Welty (UC Santa Barbara) Ph.D. candidate; dissertation title “Advantage Not Crisis: Multiracial American Japanese in Post- World War II Japan and U.S. 1945-1972”

• U.S.-Japan Transpacific Racism and the Management of Racial Mixing in Okinawa Annmaria Shimabuku (UC Riverside) assistant professor of Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages, Ph.D. Cornell – “Securing Okinawa for Miscegenation: A Historical and Literary Discourse Analysis of Amerasians in Okinawa, 1945-2000” (2010)

• Discussant: Paul Spickard (UC Santa Barbara) professor of history, Ph.D. UC Berkeley; author of “Mixed Blood: Mixed Marriage and Ethnic Identity in Twentieth-Century America” (U-Wisconsin Press, 1989).

4:30 to 6 p.m.: Berkeley Japan New Vision Award Ceremony and Reception at UC Berkeley Doe Library, Morrison Room

8 to 9:15 p.m.: Enka Superstar Jero: A Conversation and Mini-Concert at UC Berkeley’s Wheeler HallPart Japanese and part African American, Jero (born Jerome Charles White) is enka’s rising star ever since his hit single “Umiyuki” burst onto the charts in 2008. His albums, “Yakusoku” (2009), “Covers” (2008), “Covers 2” (2009), and “Covers 3” (2010) have been widely acclaimed as he has revived interest in this music genre. Winner of the 2008 Best New Artist Award at the Japan Record Awards and the 2011 Berkeley Japan New Vision Award. For tickets, contact or call (510) 642-3415.


Saturday, April 9

UC Berkeley Faculty Club, Great Hall


9:30 to 11:30 a.m.: Session IV — Okinawa and Racial Spaces

Black-Okinawa: Historical Development and Expression of Mixed Space/RaceAriko Ikehara (UC Berkeley) Ph.D. graduate student; dissertation title “Meditation on mixed space/race in-between: Black-Okinawa Phenomenology”; founder of BAAD Perspectives (Black-Asian-Amerasian-Diaspora), co-founder of TMABS (Transnational Mixed Asian in Between Spaces)

Nappy Routes and Tangled Tales of Blackness in Militarized Okinawa Mitzi Uehara Carter (UC Berkeley) Ph.D. candidate; dissertation title “Base(ic) Bodies and Tours of Duty: Mapping Militarized Space, Race, and Movement in Okinawa”; founder of, a Website on “Okinawa, race, family, militarization, blackness, and the south” and the Afro-Okinawan Family Network

• Discussant: Wei Ming Dariotis (San Francisco State University) assistant professor of Asian American studies, Ph.D. UC Santa Barbara; special issue on “Mixed Heritage Asian American Literature”; co-founder of SF chapter of Hapa Issues Forum and faculty advisor for Variations: Mixed Heritage Student Club at SFSU

1 to 3 p.m.: Session V — A Changing Japanese American Community

Re-imagining Multiple Identities: Race, Culture, Language among Japanese-descent Multiracials Teresa Williams-León (Cal State Northridge) professor of Asian American studies, Ph.D. UCLA; co-editor of “The Sum of Our Parts: Mixed Heritage Asian Americans” (Temple, 2001) and “No Passing Zone: The Artistic and Discursive Voices of Asian-Descent Multiracials” (Amerasia Journal, 1997)

• Mixed Race, Multiethnic, Adoptee: The Shifting Meaning of “Japanese American” — Cynthia Nakashima (UC Berkeley) Ph.D. candidate; co-editor of “The Sum of Our Parts: Mixed Heritage Asian Americans” (Temple, 2001)

We Are No Longer Forced to ‘Please Choose One’…Or Are We? Christine Iijima Hall (Maricopa Community College) district director, Office of Equity, Opportunity and Engagement for the Maricopa Community College District, Ph.D. UCLA; “The Ethnic Identity of Racially Mixed People: A Study of Black-Japanese” (1980)

• Discussant: Michael Omi (UC Berkeley) associate professor of ethnic studies, Ph.D. UC Santa Cruz.

3:30 to 5 p.m.: Session VI — “Representing” and “Representations” of Mixed-Race Japanese in the U.S. and Japan

• Cherry Blossom Dreams: Racial Eligibility Rules, Hapas and Japanese American Beauty Pageants — Rebecca Chiyoko King O’Riain (National University of Ireland) faculty of sociology, Ph.D. UC Berkeley; “The Changing Face of Japanese America: The Making and Remaking of Race in the Japanese American Community” (1998); author of “Pure Beauty: Judging Race in Japanese American Beauty Pageants” (U-Minnesota Press, 2006)

Screening of the Documentary Film “Hafu: A Film about the Experiences of Mixed-Japanese Living in Japan”

• Discussant: John Lie (UC Berkeley) professor of sociology, Ph.D. Harvard; author of “Zainichi (Koreans in Japan): Diasporic Nationalism and Postcolonial Identity” (UC Press, 2008) and “Multiethnic Japan” (Harvard, 2001).

5 p.m.: Closing of Conference

7 to 10 p.m.: The Hafu Project Photo Exhibit and Hapa Japan Database Launch Party at NEW PEOPLE, 1746 Post St., in San Francisco’s Japantown

• The Hafu Project Photo Exhibit: Curator’s Tour — Marcia Yumi Lise (social researcher, M.A. Goldsmiths College, U-London) Natalie Maya Willer (photographer, M.A. Royal College of Art)

Hapa Japan Database PresentationDuncan Ryûken Williams (UC Berkeley)

Screening of the Documentary Film One Big Hapa Family(2010) — with a conversation with film director, Jeff Chiba Stearns

Comments by Kip Fulbeck (UC Santa Barbara) professor of art; artist; filmmaker; spoken word performer; author of several books including “Part Asian, 100% Hapa” (Chronicle, 2006) and “Mixed: Portraits of Multiracial Kids” (Chronicle, 2010)


Registration for the conference is required; call (510) 642-3415, or e-mail

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