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The Char Asian-Pacific Study Room: Activities

General Information about the Char Room

Events and Programs

Through the Char Room and the Char Committee, the library intends to foster its program of internationalism, and enhance the awareness in our students and the community of the continuity between the historical past and the current events transpiring in the Asia and the Pacific.

Although the Room is open for individual study and reading, the Chars did not want this room to be simply a quiet place to study. They wanted the Room to sponsor lectures, displays, presentations, forums, workshops, exhibits, cultural events, studies, conferences, and other dynamic interactive activities to focus community attention on Asia and the Pacific.

Chronicle of Char Room Events

Smithsonian Folklife Festival & Music of Chinese ensemble

HARMONY was this year's Festival theme. Ms. Heather Diamond shared her experience of the annual cultural event in the US Capitol, and UHM professor Fred Lau along with Sunhee Koo and Masaya Shishikaya performed Chinese folk songs as part of International Festival.

Tuesday March 16, 2004  10:15 AM ~

Char Room, Lama Library

Ms. Heather Diamond, a doctorial student in the UHM American Studies, shared her experience of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival which is the largest annual cultural event in the U.S. capital.


Tuesday March 16, 2004 11:00 AM ~

Char Room, Lama Library

UHM professor Fred Lau along with Sunhee Koo and Masaya Shishikaya performed the beautiful harmonies of Chinese ensemble music.

Aizome Shibori: Japanese Style Indigo Dye

Indigo dye flourished in the Asian countries and Shibori is a traditional Japanese textile art dating back to the 8th century. Mr. Darius Homay, an artist and curator at the Honolulu Academy of Arts introduced history, production process and various forms of natural indigo dyeing arts.

AIZOME SHIBORI ~ Japanese Style Indigo Dye ~

Thursday March 18, 2004 12:00 Noon~

Char Room, Lama Library

The special guest speaker from the Honolulu Academy of Arts Mr. Darius Homay introduced the indigo dyeing process in Japan. First the artist created a design and then the cloth is tied, stitched, bounded, resisted, wrapped, etc. by hand. The cloth is then soaked in vats of fermented liquid from indigo plants.

He showed a lot of slides on various forms of indigo dyeing arts practiced in the other Asian countries, and also introduced the upcoming art exhibition at the Honolulu Academy of Arts.

Hosted by Sachi Fujita, Char Asia-Pacific Librarian

Also the following art exhibits were held in the Library:

    • "Eva Raff: Forms"
    • "150 Years of US-Japan Friendship"
"Return to Choson" & "Hangguk-e Ka-gu-la"

This year's overall festival theme was JOURNEYS. Also 2003 is the centennial celebration of Korean immigrants. We hosted a special Korean events as part of KCC's 15th annual Internatioanl Festival on March 18 at the Char Room.

The special journey begins with the harbor where the very first Korean immigrants stepped off the steam ship Gaelic. With black and while historical documentary films KITV’s Pamela Young introduces a great sampling of modern and ancient Korea, including the old capital of Gyeongju and the recent most popular drama “To Be With You”.

The tour was organized by the Centennial Committee of Korean Immigration to the United States and was captured for the KITV Television Special “Return to Choson” as part of the Centennial celebration.

100 years later over 2 million Koreans are living throughout the US. There are more than 50 events planned to celebrate the special year and this is a great opportunity for us to experience the journey.

Special Mahalo to: KITV-4 and the Hawaii Korean Centennial Committee.


Hosted by Sachi Fujita, Char Asia-Pacific Librarian


~a third generation Korean-American writer visits the land of his ancestors ~

Tuesday March 18, 2003 11:15 AM ~

Char Room, Lama Library

UHM professor Gary Pak recently spent a sabbatical doing research on the country of his heritage, Korea. Come listen to him speak about his experiences, thoughts, and impressions.

Hosted by: Soo Ah Yuen, Korean Language Instructor

"Great Chinatown Fire on Jan. 20, 1900"

Mr. Wei Ke, an international student from China and the Char Room Staff Associate, spoke about stories of the Great Chinatown Fire in downtown Honolulu as part of International Festival.

Tuesday March 18, 2003 2:00 PM

at the Char Room in the Library 2nd floor

Student speaker: Mr. Wei Ke

Mr. Wei Ke is an international student from China and working as a Char Room Staff Associate in the library.  Recently he made in-depth research on Chinatown Fire in 1900, which was one of the greatest disasters rapidly swept down upon Chinese and other immigrants who just began their new life in the US. He will share his findings and interesting stories with us as part of the KCC International Festival at the Library’s special Chinese collection Char Room. Please join us the opportunity to learn about our neighborhood’s great and sore disaster

Also the library hosted the following events during the festival:

    • Haiku Pidjin: the poetry of local speech (guest speaker: Bradajo Hadley)
    • Ola na moolelo: the stories shall live (guest speaker: Bishop Museum staff)
Cantonese Opera: lecture & performance by Polly Nakamura (15 November 2002)

KCC student and Honda International Center staff Polly Nakamura gave an elaborate presentation of Cantonese Opera as a part of International Education Week event. She spoke how she learned the Cantonese Opera before and after China's Cultural Revolution and performed one of the classic pieces "the Princess".

"The Princess"

The opera, "The Princess" is among our classics. It tells that story of a Ming Dynasty princess who after her parents' death by betrayal, promises to properly honor their bodies and must then kill herself. The man to whom she is engaged promises to kill himself too on the night of their wedding. This song reflects the deep mixed emotions of loyalty, love, and guilt involved in the keeping of these promises. (by Polly Nakamura)

The Legacy of the Japanese Koto & The Beauty of the Chinese Bamboo Flute (20 March 2002)

Darin Miyashiro came back and performed traditional Japanese music on the distinctive sounding 13-stringed instrument, Koto, and an ethnomusicologist Frederick Lau, UHM, performed traditional Chinese music on the versatile bamboo flute used in Chinese Opera. Two performers played several pieces together for the KCC's 14th Annual International Festival.

Darin T. Miyashiro performed traditional Japanese music on the koto.

Dr. Frederick Lau, ethnomusicologist at UHM, gave demonstration and lecture on the traditional CHinese bamboo flute, diz.

Muscial and cultural collaboration by Darin & Fred.

Also hosted the following events during the International Festival [held in the Current Events Alcove in the Library]

The art of Japanese Ukiyo-e - Mr. Akihiro Aoyagi from Utagawa Monjinkai talked about Japanese multi-colored woodblock prints Ukiyo-e. (March 18, 2002)

Beautiful Sounds of the Sanshin - Ryukyu Koten Ongaku (Classical Ryukyan Music) Afuso-ryu Gensei Kai's Hawaii Chapter president Grant "Sanda" Murata performed Okinawan traditional instrument, Sanshin. (March 20, 2002)

Koto Performance (20 March 2001)

Guest musician Darin Miyashiro performed and introduced koto music in the Char Room as part of the KCC 13th Annual International Festival.

Opening of Dr. Kwok's Collection (1 December 2000)

Opening ceremony of Dr. Daniel Kwok's donation of more than 5,000 books and periodicals as well as China Abroad Archives to the library. Luncheon for presenters and guests followed.

Sun Yat-sen Ceremony (9 November 2000)

Presentation ceremony "An album in memory of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, a great man and epoch-maker" and luncheon for dignitaries and friends to honor Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's 134th birthday, accompanied by an exhibit of photographs from Lily Sui-Fong Sun, granddaughter of Dr. Sun.

Sun Yat-sen Ceremony (17 August 1999)

Presentation ceremony and luncheon for dignitaries and friends to honor Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's 133rd birthday, accompanied by an exhibit of photographs from Lily Sui-Fong Sun, granddaughter of Dr. Sun.

Chinese Opera: Music, Poetry and Story (18 March 1999)

Part of the KCC 11th International Festival, the three classical plays were presented by the Chinese Opera Association of Hawaii, including "Love and Loyalty-Patrolling the Camp," "The Drunken Concubine," and "Homecoming of a Phoenix." Guest performers: Ms. Ju-Hua Wei, Ms. Hui-Mei Chang, and Ms. Mei-Jia Xie.

Chinese Folk Sports Demonstration (16 March 1999)

Part of the KCC 11th International Festival, this demonstration of che-ling, shuttlecock kicking, top spinning and other Chinese folk sports was presented by Mr. Yi-Kan Chan, an experienced folk sports teacher from Taiwan.

Sun Yat-Sen Ceremony (8 October 1998)

Presentation ceremony and luncheon for dignitaries and friends to honor Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's 132nd birthday, accompanied by an exhibit of photographs from Lily Sui-Fong Sun, granddaughter of Dr. Sun.

Beijing Opera Performance - "The Red Maid" (19 March 1998)

A presentation by the Chinese Opera Association of Hawaii. "The Red Maid" is one of the oldest dramas in Chinese history. The script may date back to the Jin Dynasty, 1125-1134 A.D. It is one of the best known Beijing Opera plays.

Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Women's Movement in America (13 March 1998)

The movement started in 1848 by women such as Susan B. Anthony. Commemoration activities consist of a 1/2 hour video and two or three short speeches by selected women students at Kapi`olani Community College. Handouts, bookmarks and stickers were distributed.

"Dr. Sun Yat-Sen" Day Celebration (12-26 November 1997)

Grand opening of the Sun Yat-Sen Asian Collection in the Char Room. A display of gifts donated by Lily Sun, granddaughter of Dr. Sun. Luncheon for 100 guests to follow.

Martial Arts Demonstration (April 1997)

A demonstration by Kuei-kuo Tseng, a native of Taiwan and the martial arts coach for the National Athletics Association of the Republic of China and a Chinese martial arts referee for the Taiwan Provincial Athletics Association.

Korean Tea Ceremony (February 1997)

A demonstration of the rarely-seen Korean tea ceremony by students from Pusan Women's Junior College, with whom Kapi`olani Community College holds a cooperative agreement. As a gesture of friendship, the tea ceremony utensils were donated to the Char Room to be used when they return to Hawaii.

Dinner for Peking University Officials (12 October 1996)

A dinner hosted by the Char Board to reinforce an academic exchange agreement between the community colleges of Hawaii and Beijing Union University.

Char World Wide Web Page (Fall 1996)

The Char World Wide Web Page shares news about the mission and activities of the Char Asian-Pacific Study Room with the world through the Internet. The site contains information about the Char Room, a brief history of Mr. and Mrs. Tin-Yuke Char, biographical information about the Board of Directors, a list of Char Room activities and other items of interest.

Jade Yu-Wen Lee Exhibition (October 1996)

Exhibition of Jade Yu-Wen Lee's traditional Chinese brush paintings and Chinese brush painting demonstration by the artist.

Picture of Jade Yu-Wen Lee

Mrs. Yu-Wen Lee came originally from Taiwan and has lived in Hawai`i for seven years. She started to learn traditional Chinese painting at the age of 17, and has studied with many well-known artists in Taiwan. Lately, she has benefited greatly from the exclusive instruction of Fu Chuan-fu, a great master in both traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy. Mr. Fu accepted Mrs. Lee as his last disciple before his retirement. Mrs. Lee not only has had the good fortune of being exposed to different schools and teachings, she has also been able to fuse the various styles of these different schools of art into a distinctive style of her own.

Mrs. Lee has held exhibitions in Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Hawai`i. Her last exhibition was held in Seoul, Korea, in May, 1996. She is scheduled to have an exhibition with one of her teachers in Taipei, Taiwan, at the end of this coming December. She will also have another exhibition at the Honolulu Academy of Arts in the spring of 1997. She is now teaching two Chinese brush painting classes at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. She also offers workshops at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa on Saturdays. In addition, she has been actively involved in promoting traditional Chinese art by giving public lectures and demonstrations in Hawai`i.

Dance Instruction (Summer 1996)

Dance instruction in ballet, pointe, variations, modern and jazz dance offered by Ballet Hawaii, an affiliate program of the Char Room. Special guest faculty, Shamil Yagudin, dance master of the Bolshoi Ballet.

Concert '96 - Hawaiian Music (March 1996)

"Concert '96," a Hawaiian music starlight concert to raise funds for Char Room activities. Performers included Israel Kamakawiwo`ole, Kapena, Fiji, Anuhea, and the Bulikoko Band. Co-sponsored by the Associated Students of Kapi`olani Community College.

Nagasaki Journey (January 1996)

Nagasaki Journey: The Photographs of Yosuke Yamahata, an exhibit of photographs taken less than 24 hours after the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, capturing the horrors and massive destruction caused by the bomb. Co-sponsored by the Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace, the Matsunaga Charitable Foundation, Japan Foundation-Los Angeles Office, and Hawaiian Airlines.

Reception for Feng Shusen (December 1995)

Reception for Feng Shusen, Consul General of the People's Republic of China and Honorary Advisor to the Char Board of Directors.

Performance by the Peking University Chinese Folk Dance Company (October 1995)

A 28-member dance group comprised of Peking University students from various academic disciplines, who have won numerous awards. They performed on Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island in what was the first such tour for a Chinese university performing arts company.

Leaves of Prayer (September 1995)

Presentation by author Elsie Choy to talk about her book, Leaves of Prayer: The Life and Poetry of He Shuangqing. The book describes the life of an 18th-century farm wife who taught herself to read and write in a period when women were oppressed in Chinese society.

Remembering Our Past: Choosing Our Future (February 1995)

Remembering Our Past: Choosing Our Future, a photo display of the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused by the atomic bombings in 1945. Co-sponsored by the Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace.

Unlikely Liberators (May 1994)

Unlikely Liberators, an exhibit of wartime photos of Dachau concentration camp, taken by the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Co-sponsored by The Legacy Foundation and The Holocaust Oral History Project, San Francisco.

The Spirit of Bushido (March 1994)

The Spirit of Bushido, an exhibit of artwork by artist Hisashi Otsuka, based on the characters in The Legend of the 47 Ronin. Co-sponsored by Images International.

Family Tree Program (Spring 1994)

Acquisition and implementation of family tree program for community use, a service beginning with, but not limited to, the Chinese Community.

Reception for Ambassador Wang Xue Xian, People's Republic of China (January 1994)

A friendly visit by Ambassador Wang, Honorary Advisor to the Char Board, reconfirmed his willingness to support Kapi`olani Community College's cooperation with institutions in China.

Sun Yat-Sen Ceremony (November 1993)

Presentation ceremony and luncheon for dignitaries and friends to honor the anniversary date of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's 127th birthday and to recognize generous gifts from Lily Sui-Fong Sun to initiate the China Collection in the library.

Reception for Chief Justice Ronald Moon (June 1993)

Reception in honor of the Honorable Ronald Moon, member of the Char Board of Directors, on the occasion of his appointment as Chief Justice of the Hawaii State Supreme Court. Co-sponsored by the University of Hawaii Foundation.

Dinner Reception - Beijing Union University (April 1993)

Dinner for key education leaders from Beijing Union University and the Beijing Bureau of Higher Education on the occasion of their visit to sign an academic exchange agreement between Beijing Union University and the community colleges of Hawaii.

Radio Talk Show with Mike Tokunaga (April 1993)

In conjunction with the Legacy of a Generation, a trio of World War II veterans recalled and retold war experiences and explained cultural values.

Legacy of a Generation (March 1993)

Legacy of a Generation, a photo-video-memorabilia exhibit to perpetuate the legacy of various World War II organizations and to promote an understanding of the sacrifices made by individuals to improve the American way of life in Hawaii and elsewhere. Co-sponsored by The Legacy Foundation.

Opening Ceremonies (March 17, 1992)

Opening ceremonies for the Char Room. Activities included the setting off of strings of firecrackers at the library entrance; a lion dance through the library; and speeches by dignitaries including Chancellor of Community Colleges Joyce Tsunoda and Provost John Morton.

Opening Ceremonies picture 2
Dr. Joyce Tsunoda, Chancellor of the Community Colleges,
speaking at the Char Room opening ceremonies.

Opening Ceremonies picture 1
Students from KCC's Chinese Club perform a traditional lion dance
as part of the Char Room opening ceremonies

Assembly of the Char Room Board of Directors (Fall 1991)

The assembly of a group of notable community memebers, business leaders, judiciary members, educators, and foreign government officials who agreed to lead the activities of the Char Room, thereby becoming one of the University's most prestigious advisory committees. Chairman of the Board, Kendall Wong. (go to Advisory Board page)