UH Hilo history professor to speak at NHERC

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Date: Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

Dr. Jonathan Dresner, an assistant professor of history at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, will speak at UH Hilo’s North Hawai`i Education & Research Center (NHERC) in Honoka`a on Monday, February 19 at 6:30 pm. His presentation, “Hometown Ties: How Hawai`i Japanese Stayed Connected to Japan Before World War II,” is sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at NHERC. The talk is free and open to the public.

Dresner’s doctoral and subsequent research is focused on the international labor emigration from rural Meiji-era (1868 – 1912) Japan, including migration to Hawai`i. He will discuss Japanese migration to and from Hawai`i as a two-way process. Like most labor migrations, many Japanese plantation workers in the late 1800s and early 1900s went home to Japan. Those who stayed kept close ties to their hometowns with visits both ways, marriages, letters and newspapers. There were also financial ties: in addition to being an export market for sake, Hawai'i Japanese sent money back to their families and hometowns right up to the eve of WWII, money that made a difference to the poor rural communities of their birth.

Dresner is the first speaker this spring in a monthly series sponsored by the OLLI program at NHERC. For more information, contact Bill Kunstman at (808) 775-8890 or email at wkunstma@hawaii.edu.

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