College of Social SciencesUniversity of Hawaii at Manoa
Department of Sociology



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Jonathan Okamura

Jonathan Okamura

Affiliate Faculty


PhD, Anthropology, University of London, 1983

I was born and raised in Kahului, Maui and am a yonsei (fourth generation) Japanese American on my father's side. After my family moved to California in 1964, I attended high school and college there and then did graduate work in anthropology at the University of London, completing my PhD degree in 1983. My dissertation was concerned with post-1965 Filipino immigrant ethnicity in the Kalihi area of Honolulu and led me to teach and conduct research in the Philippines. I taught anthropology and sociology at a Catholic university in Manila from 1984 to 1987 and did research on various topics, including a primary health care project with the Hanunuo Mangyan cultural minority on Mindoro island. I began working at UH Manoa in 1989 as a visiting professor at the School of Public Health and was hired in the Department of Ethnic Studies in 2000.>



My primary research interests include race and ethnicity, racialization of Asian Americans, ethnic inequality in Hawai'i, minority access to higher education. My latest book, From Race to Ethnicity: Interpreting Japanese American Experiences in Hawai'i was published in July 2014 by the University of Hawai'i Press.

My current book project is on the racial significance of the speedy conviction and subsequent execution, despite his probable insanity, of Myles Yutaka Fukunaga for the killing of a Haole boy from a prominent family in 1928.



I teach courses on Japanese in Hawai‘i, Filipinos in Hawai‘i, Asian Americans, ethnic identity, and race and ethnicity in Hawai'i. I also am an affiliate graduate faculty member of the Department of Anthropology at UH Manoa.



From Race to Ethnicity: Interpreting Japanese American Experiences in Hawai'i (2014) Type: Books of original scholarship–author/co-author

Filipino American Access to Public Higher Education in California and Hawaii (2013) Download Publication Type: Chapters in books

Ethnicity and Inequality in Hawai'i (2008) : Philadelphia: Temple University Press Type: book ISBN: 978-159213756 Keywords: ethnic inequality, ethnicity, Hawai'i

Filipino American History, Identity and (2006)

The Japanese American Contemporary Experience in Hawai'i (2002) : Social Process in Hawai'i, vol. 41 Type: Edited journal issue ISBN: 0-8248-2687-6 Keywords: Ethnic identity, Japanese Americans

Imagining the Filipino American Diaspora: Transnational Relations, Identities and Communities (1998) : New York: Garland Publishing Type: book ISBN: 0-8153-3183-5 Keywords: Diaspora, Filipino Americans, transnational



ES 301 (Fall 2015) : Ethnic Identity - Download

ES 330 (Fall 2015) : Japanese in Hawai'i - Download

ES 456 (Spring 2015) : Race and Ethnicity in Hawai'i - Download
  Cross Listed: SOC 456