I am a doctoral candidate in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto (with a collaborative program at the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies).

My dissertation project, provisionally titled “Alternate Currents: Healing with Reiki’s ‘Universal Energy’ Across the North Pacific” is a historical social scientific analysis of the trans-Pacific construction of the practices called Reiki. It examines how twentieth- and twenty-first century Japanese and North Americans understand themselves and their relationships through their healing practices. As these healing practices have been repeatedly re-produced at different confluences of Japanese and North American culture over the ninety-odd years, this analysis will give insight into the dynamics of North Pacific cultural exchange, as well as an opportunity to interrogate the relationship between the production of spirituality and the production of cultural difference.

I am also a lover of music, and from 2008-2010 (with some appearances since), I hosted a radio show on KTUH-FM Honolulu called The Science of Soul, highlighting funky soul, jazz, blues, and hip-hop.

This website (still under construction) is a forum to share my research, writing, and music. The first thing I am putting up is a series of translations of Japanese-language articles about Reiki from a Honolulu newspaper called The Hawaii Hochi in 1937-38 that (to my knowledge), have never been made available to the public before. This project is a collaborative work between myself and HIRANO Naoko from Waseda University, who is also working on a dissertation project about Reiki.

I plan to continue working on this site, adding more of my written work and translations, as well as recordings from my radio show and links to other scholarly and music websites and blogs.

Thanks for stopping by!

One thought on “About

  1. Thank you Justin and thank Mrs. Hirano. Your work is helping to bring recognition to, and appreciation for, the history of reiki in Hawaii and the U.S.. You are also making it very accessible to the non-Japanese speaking community. We look forward to more of your work with eager anticipation! がんばってください❕

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