Tom Coffman

Tom Coffman

Tom Coffman

Tom Coffman is an independent researcher, writer and producer. He explored American imperialism in the Pacific in his 1998 book and PBS documentary "Nation Within." Other book credits include "Catch a Wave, A Case Study of Hawaii Politics," and "The Island Edge of America." His two-hour documentary on the development of Korean America, "Arirang," is currently playing on PBS stations around the country.


Ganbare: Don’t Give Up – 1994
O Hawai’i, From Settlement to Kingdom – 1995
Nation Within, The Annexation of Hawai’i by the United States – 1998
May Earth Live – 2000
Arirang: The Korean American Journey – 2002
Arirang: The Korean American Dream – 2003

Books & Major Publications

Catch A Wave, A Case Study of Hawaii Politics – University of Hawai’i Press, 1971
From Japan to Hawai’i, My Journey with H.S. Kawakami, 1974
With Obligation to All, with former Gov. George R. Ariyoshi, 1996
Nation Within, the Story of America’s Annexation of Hawai’i, 1998
The Island Edge of America, University of Hawai'i Press, 2003
Magazines: New Republic, Motive, Beacon, Honolulu
Culturelink 32/2000 (Institute for International Relations/Prague)
Toda Institute Peace and Policy Research: America's Historic Antecedent to Iraq

Interactive Media

Okage Sama De, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii (CD-ROM exhibit)
Arirang, Interactive Classroom of the Korean American Experience –.www + DVD


Keeper of the Flame, Na Loio, 2003
Community Scholar in Residence: Spring 2001, University of Hawai’i
State of Hawaii - Literature Award 2000
Hawai’i Publisher’s Award for Best Non-Fiction Writing, 1999 & 2004
Bronze Apple, National Educational Media Network, 1996
Golden Eagle Award, Golden Eagle Cine Festival, Washington DC, 1994
Best Hawai’i Filmmaker - Hawai’i International Film Festival, 1994
Jury Award, New York World Expo of Short Film, 1994
New Media INVISION Award of Merit 1993
American Multi-Image International, Award for Production 1993
Historic Hawai’i Preservation Award
Keep It Hawai’i
American Society of Political Science for Reporting 1968

Presentations (include)

Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations; Princeton, 1998
Western Arts Federation; Aspen Institute, 2000
Smithsonian Institution; Washington DC, 2003
Ben-Gurion University; Be'er Sheva, Israel, "Alternative Media and the Middle East," 2004


Reporter, United Press International – 1965, Albuquerque, New Mexico
State Government Reporter, Honolulu Advertiser – 1966
Field Coordinator, Community Action Program, Honolulu – 1967
Political Reporter & Bureau Chief, Honolulu Star-Bulletin – 1968-73
Self – 1973 to present


Bachelor in Journalism, William Allen White School, Kansas University - 1965


Polynesian Voyaging Society, Director
Kalihi YMCA, Director
Toda Institute for Peace – International Advisory Board

Areas of Special Interest

Hawaiian Affairs
Pacific Islands and Pacific Rim
Prehistory of Hawai`i Archaeology
History of Hawai`i
Evolution of the Hawaiian Settlement
Japanese immigration & Japanese-American experience
Korean immigration & Korean-American experience
Multiculturalism and Transnationalism

Areas of Research Expertise

Government records
Visual Archives of Hawai`i: State Archives & Bishop Museum
Material Culture Archives of Hawai`i: State Archives & Bishop Museum
Historical Archives of Hawai`i
Mission House Library
Hawaii/Pacific Collection, Hamilton Research Library, University of Hawai’i
National Archives of America, I and II
Library of Congress