Publisher Johns Hopkins Advanced Academic Programs

Episode 22-10: An interview with Hanako Wakatsuki, JHU Museum Studies Program alumna and Superintendent of Honouliuli National Historic Site.

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One of our nation’s newest National Historic Sites, the site of Honouliuli, will interpret the history of civilian incarceration and the experience of prisoners of war in Hawaii during World War II — an important and often glossed over part of America’s past. To use the words of the National Park Service, it “will be a place to reflect on wartime experiences and recommit ourselves to the pursuit of freedom and justice.”

Join me as I chat with Hanako Wakatsuki, Superintendent of Honouliuli National Historic Site, about the importance of interpreting complicated histories. And how understanding the historical context and trajectory of events in our nation’s past can help us in the present and the future. She shares with us how her own family’s history is intertwined with the powerful stories she shares regarding the lived experience of Japanese Americans during World War II.

National Historic Site in the Making
Hanako Wataskuk’s grandmother, along with her aunt and uncles in front of a barrack at Manzanar War Relocation Center during their WWII incarceration.
National Historic Site in the Making
Hanako Watasuki’s grandfather was drafted into the U.S. Army from the Manzanar War Relocation Center during WWII.

Hanako is an alumna of Johns Hopkins University’s Museum Studies program. She has over 14 years of experience in museums and public history. She has worked for Minidoka National Historic Site, U.S. Navy Seabee Museum, Tule Lake National Monument, and the Idaho State Historical Society.

Hanako Wakatsuki, Superintendent of Honouliuli National Historic Site
Hanako Wakatsuki, Superintendent of Honouliuli National Historic Site, in front of the Minidoka National Historic Site tower.

Hanako received her BA in History and BS in Political Science from Boise State University and her MA in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University. She is passionate about visitor services, making cultural institutions accessible to the community, and bridging the gap between academia and the public.


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