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HSTA-R to co-host Oral History Workshop

July 30, 2011
Importance of Oral History

Oral History Workshop Set for October 1 in Hilo

 Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii–Dr. Warren Nishimoto, director of the Center of Oral History ( at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, will present an oral history workshop in Hilo on Saturday, October 1, 2011, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

The workshop is open to the public and will be held at the Church of the Holy Cross, Building of Faith, at 440 West Lanikaula Street.   A $3 materials fee will be collected at the door. 

        Bring a bag lunch and an optional recorder for practicing.

Reserve your seat at the workshop by e-mailing  Include your name, email address, telephone contact for follow-up information, and any questions you may have about the workshop.

Dr. Nishimoto has conducted hundreds of interviews with Hawaii’s working people on a variety of subjects, and has been responsible for preserving and disseminating these interviews to researchers, teachers, students, and the general community. He also teaches credit and non-credit classes and workshops on oral history methodology.

Nishimoto is co-editor of Hanahana: An Oral History Anthology of Hawaii’s Working People and Talking Hawaii’s Story: Oral Histories of an Island People, both books published by University of Hawai`i Press.

A group of volunteers is organizing the Hilo workshop, and according to Jeanne Yagi, “The workshop will give participants an introduction to the skills and practices needed in order to record family stories, to preserve their gifts for posterity by developing a written history, and to help the community to gain a deeper understanding of who we are.”

“We need to retain and tell the stories (the history) of the regular people who are the pioneers of our families and our communities,” said Nishimoto.

The organizers intend for the workshop to help strengthen the community’s ability to record family histories and for a variety of community groups to work cooperatively to achieve this end.

The Church of the Holy Cross, Oral History Project—Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin, Japanese Community Association of Hawaii, University of Hawai’i at Hilo’s College of Continuing Education & Community Service and North Hawai’i Education & Research Center, the Kinzo and Fumiko Nishimura Japanese Culture Fund, Chinese Civic Association of Hawaii, Hawaii State Teachers Association—Hilo Chapter, Hawaii State Teachers Association-Retired—Hawaii Island Council, Hilo High School Key Club, Hui Okinawa, Red Hat Society— ‘Ula La of Hilo, Rotary Club of Hilo, and the Visayan Club of Hilo have committed their support for the workshop.  Other community, civic and business organizations have been approached to join the effort.

Nishimoto will deliver a four-hour workshop geared toward those with no previous training. He will offer step-by-step instruction for layman seeking to document the stories of families, organizations and the community.

Nishimoto also will meet with experienced oral history project teams in the afternoon following the training workshop.



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