In Memory of Dr. Yosihiko Sinoto

Bishop Museum is heartbroken to share that Dr. Yosihiko Sinoto, Bishop Museum’s Kenneth P. Emory Distinguished Chair in Anthropology, passed away on October 4, 2017 at the age of 93. Dr. Sinoto spent more than sixty years with the Museum and his contributions to the field of Pacific anthropology are recognized globally. His lifelong work to trace the origins of Hawaiian ancestors led him to discover some of the earliest archaeological sites in Polynesia, and his discovery of an ancient 65-foot long Polynesian voyaging canoe in Huahine fundamentally changed the world’s understanding of early Polynesian deep water voyaging.

Dr. Sinoto has received awards from around the world in recognition of his pioneering work, including Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays; a Tahitian knighthood (the Order of Tahiti Nui, Chevalier); the Society of Hawaiian Archaeology’s Naki‘ikeaho Cultural Stewardship Award; and Bishop Museum’s Robert J. Pfeiffer Medal. He received a lifetime achievement award from the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation and was named a Living Treasure of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i. His life and legacy are chronicled in Curve of the Hook: An Archaeologist in Polynesia, published in September 2016 by University of Hawai‘i Press. Dr. Sinoto’s name is carried by Vini sinotoi, an extinct lorikeet species in the Marquesas Islands (named in 1987), as well as a hybrid hibiscus created by Jill Coryell, “Sir Yosihiko Sinoto”, which can be found on the Museum’s campus.  Dr. Sinoto will be deeply missed by all of his colleagues and friends here.

Make a Gift to the Emory-Sinoto Fund