VALDO H. VIGLIELMO

Posted On November 29th, 2016 -

VALDO H. VIGLIELMOEmeritus Professor Valdo H. Viglielmo, noted scholar and translator of Japanese literature who taught for 37 years in the department of East Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, died on November 14 at the age of 89. His primary career focus was on modern Japanese literature, and he produced many studies of principal authors and their works, as well as translations. After volunteering for World War II Army service at the age of 17, too young to serve in combat, he was trained in Japanese and sent to Japan with the Occupation forces to serve as a translator. Upon discharge from the military, he used the G.I. Bill to complete his undergraduate education at Harvard University, where he studied in the then Far Eastern Languages Department and received his B.A. degree. Before beginning graduate studies he accepted a position as part of a Protestant reconciliation project and went to Japan for a three-year teaching position. Returning to Harvard, he completed his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees and served as an instructor in Japanese language and literature for three years before going back to Japan to teach for two more years. He then accepted an appointment as assistant professor at Princeton University, where he taught for five years before accepting in 1965 an offer of an associate professorship at the University of Hawaii, where he was soon promoted to full professor and taught until his retirement in 2002. In retirement he volunteered for several years at the then Honolulu Academy of Arts, translating Japanese information about exhibited art works. In addition to his work as scholar and translator, Viglielmo assisted radiation survivors of the Nagasaki A-bombing to have a Nagasaki Peace Bell erected and maintained next to Honolulu Hale in 1990. Every year since then, the Bell has been rung on August 9, the date of the Nagasaki bombing. Viglielmo is survived by wife Frances, son Marc, and daughter Emily. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, December 1, at 5:30 p.m. at the Church of the Crossroads, 1212 University Ave.

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran