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Dearest Lenny: Letters from Japan and the Making of the World Maestro

Monday, September 14, 2020 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Virtual Event

Dearest Lenny interweaves the account of Leonard Bernstein’s transformation from an American icon into a world maestro with an intimate story of his relationships with two Japanese individuals: Kazuko Amano, a loyal fan who began writing letters to Bernstein in 1947, and Kunihiko Hashimoto, a young man who fell deeply in love with Bernstein in 1979 and later became his business representative. During the period in which these two relationships unfolded, Japan’s place in the world and its relationship vis-à-vis the United States changed dramatically, which in turn shaped Bernstein’s connection to the country. Yoshihara will trace the making of a global Bernstein amidst the shifting political economy of the arts and global politics that made this American celebrity turn increasingly to Europe and Japan.

Speaker: Mari Yoshihara, Professor, and Chair of American Studies University of Hawaii at Manoa

For accessibility needs, please email with Accessibility in the subject heading and describe your need. We need at least 3 business days advance notice but will work to accommodate all participants.

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Amala Lane

Amala Lane left a positive review 9/13/2020

Professor Mari Yoshihara is such a talented scholar, teacher, and speaker - she was able to convey all the historical context as well as human warmth and impact of Leonard Bernstein through the story of his relationship with Japan - and specifically two important Japanese people. She also wove in her personal story of discovering her subject which revealed why she was so compelled to dedicate six years of her life to understanding Bernstein through these letters.