University of Hawaii at Manoa Library

These exhibits are available for viewing during normal library hours.
For more information on the Asia Collection, see

Asia Collection Exhibits

These exhibits are available for viewing during normal library hours. For more information on the Asia Collection, see

Go back to the list of exhibits by gallery.

Dictionaries: Language Connections around Asia & Beyond

November 13, 2017 - January 13, 2018
4th Floor, Hamilton Library

This exhibit attempts to provide a broader perspective on the role of dictionaries. Please come to view the dictionaries showcased in the 4th Floor display and discover language connections while you reflect on geopolitics and history.

display case with dictionaries and map of China

Japanese Suicide Bombers, 1932

November 6, 2017 - January 12, 2018
4th Floor, Hamilton Library

Three Japanese sappers became gunshin (war gods) when they were killed while attacking a Chinese military stronghold during the 1932 Shanghai Incident. Come learn more about these soliders and how the media impacted their legacy.

Special thanks to invited curators Dr. Hanae Kramer (Communications) & Mr. Scott Kramer.

painting of bombers
portraits of bombers

The Art of Chinese Riddles: Character Riddles and Lantern Riddles

September - October 2017
4th Floor, Hamilton Library

The art of riddles has long been an interesting part of Chinese culture. It ranges from simple word puzzles to sophisticated poetic expressions. Among various types of Chinese riddles, character riddles (字谜) are unique to Chinese language as the process of creating and solving such riddles relies entirely on the structure, pronunciation and definition of Chinese scripts, whereas lantern riddles (灯谜) are special because of their distinctive formats and connection with Chinese traditional celebrations, such as the Lantern Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival.

This exhibit features books on the history of Chinese riddles, their unique character riddles and lantern riddles. In addition to materials from the Hamilton Library, special thanks to Mr. Daniel Tschudi, for generously contributing his personal collection on Chinese riddles to this exhibit, and to Confucius Institute at UHM for loaning us lanterns for users to see real lantern riddles.

Items that circulate in this display may be checked out. Please ask at the Asia Reference Desk during service hours: M-F, 10am-4pm.

close-up of book
display case
display cases and lanterns

The Inner Harmony of Arts, Science, and Nature: Korean Architecture

August-October 2017
4th Floor, Hamilton Library

Korean architecture encompasses the built structures of Korea and their surrounding contexts. Like other art forms of Korea, architecture is characterized by naturalistic tendencies, simplicity, economy of shape, and the avoidance of extremes.

The Korea Collection is holding materials on Korean Architecture to support Architecture Studies, Korean Arts, History, and Korean Studies in general. The acquisition of a large number of both monographs and serials on Korean Architecture was funded by the Korea Foundation.

This exhibit is curated by Jude Yang, Korean Studies Librarian, and Gwen Kang, Junior Visiting Librarian at the Korea Collection.

Korean architecture examples

Shiro Saito Memorial Exhibit: A Celebration of Life

August 2017
Asia Reading Room, 4th Floor, Hamilton Library

Have you ever met an inspiring librarian who spent three year-long trips to the Philippines, Japan, and Europe conducting research?

That was Shiro Saito, one of University of Hawaii's pioneering librarians. He began working at University of Hawai'i in 1958 as one of the only two librarians at Sinclair Library, UH's sole library at the time. He progressed steadily through the ranks and served in a number of capacities, including Head of the Humanities & Social Science Reference Department, Social Science Bibliographer, and Asia Specialist. He served in the administrative position of Associate University Librarian from 1974-1979.

Shiro was also a driven and passionate librarian who was critical in establishing Southeast Asia Librarianship, through his tireless bibliographic work. His publications as well as photos are currently on display at the Asia Reading Room at Hamilton Library.

Contact person: Elena Clariza

Shiro Saito on becoming a librarian

Dragon Boat Festival and Related Customs in Asia

May 2017
4th floor of Hamilton Library

The Asia Collection librarians have prepared an exhibit titled "Dragon Boat Festival and Related Customs in Asia" in the Asia Department's Reading Room area.

A big thank you to Debbie Dunn (Preservation) for her help in properly displaying the items and to Andrea Nakamura (Hawaii & Pacific Collection) for her help in designing an eye-catching, gorgeous poster for the exhibit.

This year's Hawaii Dragon Boat Festival in Honolulu is scheduled for Saturday, July 29, 2017. For more information, please visit the organizer's website:

Dragon Boat and Related Customs

The Spider and the Fly: the evils of capitalism — the role of political pamphlets/posters in China and the Soviet Union during the 1920s to 1930s

May 2017
4th floor of Hamilton Library

 Please come and learn about the newly acquired Chinese-language pamphlet of the socialist parable attributed to Wilhelm Liebknecht, evidently published in the Soviet Union for the purpose of agitation in China. There is a striking cover illustration by Soviet artist D. Moor. Liebknecht’s tale, in which capitalists are compared to evil spiders and the workers to hapless flies, was an extremely popular text within the Russian revolutionary movement. The booklet was probably printed during one of two waves of Soviet agitation in China, either around 1927, preceding the Nanking Incident, or in the mid-1930s. 

Dongyun Ni, Chinese Specialist Librarian, and Pat Polansky, Russian Bibliographer, organized the exhibit with the help of Mark-Roel Pascua and Joey Brenner (moving cases), Sherman Seiki (Archives), Andrea Nakamura (brilliant signs), and Deborah Dunn (Preservation)

Soviet and Chinese political posters

New Year Celebrations in Asia

January 2017 - March 2017
4th floor of Hamilton Library

No matter where you are or where you are from, New Years is the time to light up new hope and mark a new beginning. As the largest continent in the world with a long history, rich culture, and diverse customs, people in Asia welcome the New Year in their own way on many different days. This book exhibit showcases some unique customs and exciting festivals around New Years in Asia. Hope you enjoy it and learn something new about Asia.

Items that circulate in this display may be checked out. Please ask at the Asia Reference Desk during service hours: M-F, 10am-4pm.

Asia New Years books

Many Facets of the Tale of Genji

January 13, 2017 - March 31, 2017
4th floor of Hamilton Library

Written in the tenth century by a court lady known as Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji, is a lengthy romantic novel that has attracted readers and scholars alike. Although Shikibu’s original texts were lost, over 100 hand-written manuscripts have been identified. The Tale of Genji has been translated from classical to modern Japanese language and into foreign languages, and it has inspired commentaries, criticisms, illustrations, woodblock prints, scrolls, manga, animation, films and games for over a thousand years. In conjunction with a public lecture "The Plot of The Tale of Genji and the Emperor System," by Dr. Yuichiro Imanishi of the National Institute of Japanese Literature on February 16, 2017, the exhibit shares many facets of this extraordinary tale.

Genji image

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