University of Hawaii honors OTV director Maehara with an honorary doctorate for his documentary program Sekai-Uchinanchu-Kiko
June 17, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo
During the 15-year period since 1987, Shinichi Maehara, the executive director of Okinawa Television Broadcasting Co., Ltd. (OTV), has interviewed many Uchinanchu active around the world, introducing them in a documentary entitled Sekai-Uchinanchu-Kiko (Global travel stories to meet Uchinanchu).
The University of Hawaii has decided to award him an honorary doctorate in humanities in recognition of his achievement. Robert Nakasone, senior advisor for the Center for Okinawan Studies of the University visited Okinawa to convey the good news to him, but the degree will actually be conferred at the 2011 Mid-Year Commencement Ceremony of University of Hawaii at Manoa, on December 17.
According to the University, an honorary doctoral degree is awarded to people who have contributed in the fields of the humanities or to Hawaii.
In the past, several distinguished Japanese such as Nobel laureates including novelist Yasunari Kawabata and others have been awarded the degree. Recommended for the award by the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Maehara is first person from Okinawa to receive this honor.
A total of 210 editions of his documentary program have been shown in Hawaii since 2003 and have steadily gained popularity. Nakasone praised Maehara’s achievement, saying, “His work is very highly thought of in Hawaii.”
Maehara said, “Immigrants from Okinawa have been paving their way in life together, despite discrimination against them in Hawaii. They have created a very well-formed community there,” and “I think it is usually awarded to researchers, and so it is an undeserved honor for me,” he said with delight.
(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey）
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