University of Hawaiʻi Presents Honorary Degree to Edward George Seidensticker

University of Hawaiʻi
Shawn Nakamoto, (808) 956-9095
University and Community Relations
Kristen Cabral, (808) 956-5039
University and Community Relations
Posted: Dec 26, 2001


The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents will confer the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters on Columbia University Professor emeritus Edward George Seidensticker as they recognize him for his outstanding contributions to Western understanding of Japanese literature and culture on behalf of the administration, faculty, staff and students of the University of Hawaiʻi.
Sunday, December 23
2 p.m. (during the Advanced Degrees commencement exercises)
A reception in his honor will be held in the Stan Sheriff Center‘s Hospitality Room immediately following the commencement exercises.
WHERE: Stan Sheriff Center, UH Manoa

Members of the media are encouraged to attend.


Edward Seidensticker is credited for contributing to the revival of interest in Japanese literature following World War II through his elegant translations and keen observations of life in Japan. Through his definitive translations of classic works such as "The Tale of Genji," and numerous modern masterpieces, including the novels of Nobel Prize winner Kawabata Yasunari and renowned author Mishima Yukio, he has played a central role in making Japanese literature and culture accessible to the English-speaking world.

His own publications include "Japan," "Genji Days," "Low City, High City," and "Tokyo Rising," among others. His has been honored with such prizes as the National Book Award, Order of the Rising Sun, Kikuchi Kan Prize, Goto Miyoko Prize, Tokyo Cultural Award, and the Yamagata Banto Prize. The University of Colorado and the University of Maryland also have acknowledged his outstanding contributions to Japanese Studies by awarding him honorary doctorates.

Seidensticker has been a familiar face at the University of Hawaiʻi, serving on various graduate student committees and on the Japan Studies Endowment Committee. He also contributes with largesse to the Edward Seidensticker Award in Japanese Studies — a prize given annually for the best paper on Japan at the School of Hawaiian, Asian & Pacific Studies Graduate Student Conference.

Seidensticker received a bachelor‘s degree from the University of Colorado and a master‘s degree from Columbia University. He also did graduate studies at Harvard University and the University of Tokyo. His field of specialization emerged during his graduate studies as Japanese literature with a chief emphasis on the prose literature of the Heian Period and the modern novel.

His career in teaching began at Sophia University in Tokyo, and he continued on to Stanford University, University of Michigan, and finally, Columbia University.