Revealing the Works of the "Cosmic Dancer"


In 2021 ‘Ulu‘ulu Moving Image Archive and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa University Archives & Manuscript Collections Department began work on digitizing papers and videos from the Mitsuo Aoki Collections. With support from the Hawai'i Council for the Humanities and the Mits Aoki Legacy Foundation the archives were able to partner in their efforts in preserving the work of the late Reverend Doctor Mitsuo Aoki. The Mitsuo "Mits" Aoki papers are held at the University Archives & Manuscript Collections at UH Mānoa, and the Mitsuo Aoki videotapes at the ʻUluʻulu Moving Image Archive at UH West Oʻahu. Rev. Dr. Aoki's work was integral to the creation of the Religion Department at the University of Hawaiʻi and establishment of Hospice Hawaiʻi. He was given the nickname of "The Cosmic Dancer" by his students, as he was known to break out into dance or tai chi forms in the middle of his class lectures.

The 2003 Lotus Films and PBS Hawaiʻi documentary "Living Your Dying" explored the work of Rev. Dr. Aoki's work with terminally ill patients and their families on how to come to terms with their deaths. ‘Ulu‘ulu digitized 199 videotapes, which amounts to 78 hours of footage used in the production of this documentary, while the University Archives & Manuscript Collection has digitized his papers. Each archive strives to make Dr. Aoki's work available to the public and researchers so that others may continue to learn from his knowledge and his legacy continues on. More information about Rev. Dr. Aoki can be found through the Mitsuo "Mits" Aoki Digital Collections LibGuide.


Living Your Dying:


Revealing the Works of the "Cosmic Dancer" : Preservation and Access to the Mitsuo Aoki Collection through Digitization: