Faculty & Staff




Fred T. Korematsu Professor of Law and Social Justice
Regents’ Medalist for Excellence in Teaching


BA, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, 1975
JD, UC Berkeley School of Law, 1978


Eric K. Yamamoto is the Fred T. Korematsu Professor of Law and Social Justice at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai`i.  He is nationally and internationally recognized for his legal work and scholarship on civil procedure as well as national security and civil liberties, civil and human rights and social justice, with an emphasis on reconciliation initiatives and reparations for historic injustice.

Professor Yamamoto has received eight “outstanding law teacher awards,” including the Outstanding Law Professor for 2006 from the nationwide Society of American Law Teachers.  He has also received the University of Hawaii’s highest honor – the Regents Medal for Teaching Excellence.

Professor Yamamoto is a prolific scholar. His books include, Healing the Persisting Wounds of Historic Injustice: United States, South Korea and the Jeju 4.3 Tragedy (2021); Race, Rights and National Security: Law and the Japanese American Incarceration (with Bannai and Chon) (Wolter Kluwer 3rd ed. 2021); In the Shadow of Korematsu: Democratic Liberties and National Security (2018 Oxford Press); The Jeju 4.3 Tragedy: Next Steps Toward Reconciliation (translated into Korean) (co-authored with Pettit and Lee) (2015); and Interracial Justice (New York U. Press 2000) (award for among best North American Social Justice books for 2000).  He has published over 100 articles and book chapters. 

His earlier article “Racializing Environmental Justice” was selected in 2021 by the Colorado Law Review as one of the four best articles on systemic racism published by the law review in its 40-year history.  It was republished in 2021 along with his new “Racializing Environmental Justice – Indigenous People” essay (with Serrano).  His article in the Berkeley Asian American Law Journal, “Loaded Weapon Revisited:  The Import of Justice Jackson’s Warning in Korematsu” (lead article 2017), was selected by the Immigration Law Journal as among nation’s best immigration law articles published in 2017.  Other recent journal publications include “Masquerading Behind a Façade of National Security” in the Yale Law Journal (Forum 2019); “Human Rights and Reparative Justice:  The 2018 Reopening of the Jeju 4.3 Mass Convictions Through the Lens of the Coram Nobis Japanese American WWII Incarceration Cases” in the World Environmental and Island Studies Journal (2019); and “Critical Procedure:  ADR and the Justices `Second Wave’ Constriction of Court Access and Claim Development” in the Southern Methodist Law Review (lead volume article 2017) (republished in part in the forthcoming book Critical Procedure).  

In 2020, Professor Yamamoto received the Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award, the highest honor of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.  In 2013 the Conference of Asian Pacific American Law Faculty created the perpetual “Professor Eric Yamamoto Emerging Scholar Award” to be given yearly to an outstanding young scholar nationwide.  His other awards include the “American Courage Award” in Washington D.C. given by Asian American Justice organizations for his early advocacy against the Iraq War; the San Francisco Equal Justice Society’s inaugural “Scholar Advocate” Award; the Hawai`i Consumer Lawyers “Patsy Mink Justice Award;” the American Board of Trial Attorneys “Ha`heo Community Justice Award;” and the Japanese American Citizens League-Honolulu’s “Distinguished Community Service Award”.  In 2001-2002 he was named to the prestigious “Haywood Burns Chair in Civil Rights” for New York.  He was also selected as a “Rockefeller Foundation Resident Fellow” in Bellagio, Italy, for interaction among international scholars and policymakers.

Professor Yamamoto’s scholarship, teaching and advocacy emerge in two realms.  First – starting with his work as Korematsu coram nobis legal team member in reopening the World War II Japanese American incarceration case and continuing with post-9/11 disputes – he works with others toward a balanced accommodation of security and liberty in American democracy.

Second, he works with communities to repair the damage – heal the persisting wounds – of acknowledged injustice to people and communities.  This reparative justice and reconciliation work has encompassed the United Church of Christ and Native Hawaiian churches; Native Hawaiian Homeland trust beneficiaries and the State of Hawai`i; the indigenous Ainu claims to land and cultural resurrection in Japan; the Jeju, South Korea “Peacetime” Tragedy; the Korean World War II military sex slaves reparative justice claims; the Jeju 4.3 Tragedy; the Filipino human rights claims against the former Marcos regime; and the African American reparations suit for the 1921 Tulsa race riot.  He has authored amicus briefs to US Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal. 

Professor Yamamoto integrates into this work “Scholar Advocate” law students who participate in a program he created for developing and translating cutting-edge justice theory for usage on the front-lines.  He has been a visiting professor at the University of California Berkeley School of Law (his alma mater), the Santa Clara Law School and the City University of New York Law School and has delivered many keynote addresses and distinguished lectures – including presentations to appellate and trial judges, states’ attorneys general and scholars at universities, including Oxford, Berkeley, Michigan, Washington, UCLA, Yale and Harvard, Paris/Tour, Seoul, Jeju, and Hokkaido.



  • JEJU 4.3 SOLUTIONS:  KOREA – UNITED STATES JEJU 4.3 TASK FORCE (with Pettit & Lee, translated into Korean by Jin Ho Kim) (2015)
  • RACE RIGHTS AND REPARATION: LAW AND THE JAPANESE AMERICAN INTERNMENT (with Chon, Izumi, Kang and Wu) (second edition 2013) (Wolter Kluwer/Aspen Press) * First Edition 2001
  • INTERRACIAL JUSTICE: CONFLICT AND RECONCILIATION IN POST-CIVIL RIGHTS AMERICA (2000) (New York University Press) Gustavus Meyers Outstanding Books Award for 2000

Journals Articles and Book Chapters

  • Racializing Environmental Justice — Indigenous People, Colorado Law Review (forthcoming 2021) (with Serrano) 
  • Foreword — Improving Student Achievement Through the Creation of Relationships:  A Critical Race Theory Counter Story (Dora Dome 2020)
  • “Masquerading Behind a Façade of National Security” (with Oyama), 128 Yale L. J. 688 (Forum 2019) HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
  • Human Rights and Reparative Justice: The 2018 Reopening of the Jeju 4.3 Mass Convictions Through the Lens of the Coram Nobis Japanese American WWII Incarceration Cases (with Katano, Oyama, Crowell), World Env’t and Isl. Studies J. (lead article) (Spring 2019) SSRN
  • Reconciliation Revitalized Through an Official Apology for the Wrongful Jeju 4.3 Mass Convictions (with Oyama and Katano), World Env’t and Isl. Studies J. (Spring 2019) SSRN
  • Critical Procedure: ADR and the Justices’ `Second Wave’ Constriction of Court Access and Claim Development, 70 SMU L. R. 765 (2017) (lead article second volume) HeinOnline | SSRN |ScholarSpace
  • Loaded Weapon Revisited: The Import of Justice Jackson’s Warning in Korematsu (with Vanaclocha and Tokioka), 24 Berkeley Asian Am. L. J. 5 (2017) (lead article). Selected one of best immigration law articles for 2017 (reprinted in Immigration and Nationality Law Review). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
  • Power Dynamics of Color on Color: Grappling with Grievances to Forge Alliances (with Jenssen), in INTERGROUP CONFLICT AND CONCILIATION 17 (Chang and Robinson eds. 2017)
  • A Crucial 2016 Next Step Toward “Jeju April Third” Reconciliation: United States Joint Responsibility for Social Healing Through Justice 219 (with Pettit et al.), in THE PEACETIME JEJU 4.3 GRAND TRAGEDY: RECONCILIATION INITIATIVES IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC (Ko and Kim eds. 2016)
  • Bridging the Chasm: Reconciliation’s Needed Implementation Fourth Step (with Pettit and Sheffield), 15 Seattle J. Soc. Just. 111 (2016) (refereed) HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
  • Unfinished Business: A Joint United States and South Korea Jeju 4.3 Tragedy Task Force to Further Implement Recommendations and Foster Comprehensive and Enduring “Social Healing Through Justice,” (with Pettit and Lee), 15 Asian Pac. L.& Pol. J. 1 (2014) (lead article) HeinOnlineSSRN | ScholarSpace
  • Reparations Theory and Practice Then and Now: Mau Mau Reparations Litigation and the British High Court (with Serrano), 18 UCLA Asian Pac. Am L. J. 71 (2014). HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
  • A Modest Proposal for Determining Class Member Damages: Aggregation and Extrapolation in the Kalima v. State Hawaiian Homelands Class Action (with Pu‘uohau), 34 Haw. L. Rev. 1 (2013) (lead article) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • The Evolving Legacy of Japanese American Internment Redress: What Steps We Can (and Should) Take, 11 Seattle J. Soc. Jus. 77 (2012) (refereed) HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
  • The United States Role in the Korea Jeju April 3rd Massacre and Its Responsibility for “Social Healing Through Justice,” 2 World Env’t and Isl. Studies J. 49 (2012) SSRN | ScholarSpace
  • Korean “Comfort Women” Redress 2012 Through the Lens of U.S. Civil and Human Rights Reparatory Justice Experiences (with Lee), 11 J. Korean Law 123 (2012) (refereed) HeinOnlineSSRN | ScholarSpace
  • United States and Native Hawaiian Reconciliation (with Lee and Obrey), 6 Peace Islands 73 (2012)
  • Redress Bias? (with Sonen), in IMPLICIT BIAS THROUGHOUT THE LAW (Levinson et al. eds. 2012) SSRN Book Synopsis
  • Electronic Discovery and Hawai`i’s State Courts (with Kimura), 16:5 Haw. Bar J. 1 (2012) HeinOnlineScholarSpace
  • The Court’s in the `Age of Reconciliation’ (with Ayabe), 33 Haw. L. Rev. 503(2011) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Redress and the Salience of Economic Justice (with MacKintosh), 10 Oxford J. Pub. Pol. (2010) SSRN | ScholarSpace
  • Electronic Discovery: A Call for a New Regime for the Hawai`i Courts (with Kimura), 32 Haw. L. Rev. 153 (2010) HeinOnlineScholarSpace
  • Reframing Redress: A `Social Healing Through Justice’ Approach to United States-Native Hawaiian and Japan Ainu Reconciliation Initiatives (with Obrey), 16 Berkeley Asian Am. L. J. 5 (2009) (lead article) HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
  • Fred Korematsu: The Man Who Challenged the Internment – Twice (with Minami and Lee) (chapter), in UNTOLD CIVIL RIGHTS STORIES 29 (Leong and Kwoh eds. 2009)
  • A Social Healing Through Justice Framework for Indigenous Ainu Reconciliation with the Governments and People of Japan, Hokkaido L. Rev. (2009)
  • Rice v. Cayetano: Disfiguring Civil Rights to Deny Indigenous Hawaiian Self-Determination (with Betts) 541, (chapter) in RACE AND LAW STORIES (Moran and Carbado eds. 2008)
  • American Reparations Theory and Practice at the Crossroads (with Kim and Holden), 44 Cal. West. L. Rev. 1 (2007) (lead article) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Restorative Justice for Hawaii’s First People: Selected Amicus Curiae in Doe v. Kamehameha, 14 Berkeley Asian Am. L. J. (2007) HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
  • From Heart Mountain to Iraq: Lt. Watada and a Long Line of Resistance (with Obrey), 33 UCLA Amerasia J. 73 (2007) SSRN | ScholarSpace
  • Contextual Strict Scrutiny, (with Minner and Winter), 49 Howard L. J. 241 (lead volume article 2006) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • In Remembrance: Chris Iijima (with Baker), 29 U. Haw. L. Rev. 9 (2006) HeinOnlineScholarSpace
  • Showing the Way, 22 Harvard Blackletter L. J. 149 (2006) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Report on Redress: Law and the Japanese American Internment (with Ebesugawa) (chapter) in HANDBOOK OF REPARATIONS (Pablo de Greiff ed. 2006)
  • White (House) Lies: Why the Public Must Compel the Courts to Scrutinize the President’s National Security Abuses, 68 Duke J. of Law & Contemp. Probs. 285 (2005) HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
  • Amicus Brief of Fred Korematsu, Rasul v. Bush and Odah v. U.S. (with Stone et al.), 29 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 613 (2004) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • The Significance of “Local” (chapter), in SOCIAL PROCESS 138 (Peter Manicas ed., 3rd edition, 2004). Reprinted from Journal of Social Process 101 (1979)
  • American Racial Justice on Trial – Again: African American Reparations, Human Rights and the War on Terror (with Serrano and Rodriguez), 101 Mich. L. Rev. 1269 (2003) HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
  • Reclaiming Civil Rights in Uncivil Times, 1 Hastings J. of Race and Poverty L. 11 (inaugural issue 2003) (lead article) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Redress for Historic Injustice: The Japanese American Internment and Reparations (with Ebesugawa), (chapter) in MAJOR ACTS OF CONGRESS (2003)
  • Patsy Mink’s Social Justice Legacy (with Cruz) (preface to Mink biographical essay), 4 Asian-Pac. L. & Pol’y J. 56 (2003) ScholarSpace
  • Reluctant Redress: The Kidnapping and Internment of Japanese Latin Americans, (chapter) in BREAKING THE CYCLES OF HATRED: MEMORY, LAW AND REPAIR 132 (M. Minow ed., 2002)
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights in United States Courts (with Shirota and Kim), (chapter) in MORAL IMPERIALISM 300 (B. Hernandez-Truyol ed., 2002)
  • The Loaded Weapon (with Serrano), 27 UCLA Amerasia J. 51 (2002). Reprinted in ASIAN AMERICANS ON WAR AND PEACE 63 (Leong/Nakanishi eds., 2002) ScholarSpace
  • (Book Review) Teaching Race Through Law: Resources for a Multiracial America (ed. Perea, Delgado et al) , 89 Calif. L. Rev. 1641 (2001) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Dismantling Civil Rights: Multiracial Resistance and Reconstruction (with Serrano, et al.), 31 Cumberland L. Rev. 523 (2001) HeinOnline | SSRN | ScholarSpace
  • Beyond Redress: Japanese Americans: Unfinished Business, 7 Berkeley Asian L. J. 131 (2001) HeinOnlineScholarSpace
  • Racializing Environmental Justice (with Lyman), 72 Colo. L. Rev. 311 (2001) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Critical Coalitions (with J. Su), (chapter) in CRITICAL RACE THEORY: HISTORIES, CROSSROADS, DIRECTIONS (A. Harris, F. Valdes and J. Culp eds.) (2001) SSRN
  • The Color Fault Lines: Asian American Justice From 2000, 8 Berkeley Asian L. J. 153 (2001) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Collective Memory, History and Social Justice (with Hom), 47 UCLA L. Rev. 1747 (2000) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Practically Reframing Rights: Cultural Performance and Judging, 33 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 875 (2000) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Healing the Wounds?: The Final Report of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (with Serrano), in WHEN SORRY ISN’T ENOUGH: REDRESS FOR HISTORIC INJUSTICE (R. Brooks ed. 1999)
  • Healing Our Own, 20 Bost. C. Third World L. J. 101 (1999) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • What’s Next: Japanese American Redress and African American Reparations, 25 UCLA Amerasia J. 1 (1999) (lead article) ScholarSpace
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Jurisprudence of Process and Procedure (with Yip), 20 Haw. L. Rev. 647 (1999) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Ethnicity and the Hawaii Bar: Looking Back to Look Ahead (with G. Yamamoto), Haw. Bar J. 111 (Oct. 1999)
  • Racial Reparations: Japanese American Redress and African American Claims, 40 Bost. C. L. Rev. 477 (1998) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Beyond/Between Colors: De/Constructing Insider/Outsider Positions in LatCrit Theory, The Politics of Theory in Action and Policy, 53 Miami L. Rev. 683 (1998) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Critical Race Praxis: Race Theory and Political Lawyering Practice in Post-Civil Rights America, 95 Mich. L. Rev. 821 (1997) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Race Apologies, 1 Iowa J. Gender, Race & Just. 47 (1997) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Conflict and Complicity: Justice Among Communities of Color, 2 Harv. Latino L. Rev. 495 (1997) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution: Where Have the Critics Gone?, 36 Santa Clara L. Rev. 1055 (1996) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Foreword: We Have Arrived, We Have Not Arrived, 3 Berkeley Asian L. J. 1 (1996) (lead article) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Rethinking Alliances: Agency, Responsibility and Interracial Justice, 3 UCLA Asian Pac. Am. L. J. 33 (1995). Reprinted in CRITICAL RACE THEORY: THE CUTTING EDGE (2d ed.) (R. Delgado, ed. 1999) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • (Book Review) EARLY WOMEN LAWYERS OF HAWAII (M. Matsuda ed., 1993), 8 J. of Western Legal Hist. 294 (1995) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Courts and the Cultural Performance: Native Hawaiians’ Uncertain Federal and State Law Rights to Sue (with Kalama and Haia), 16 Haw. L. Rev. 1 (1994) (lead article) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Procedural Politics and Federal Rule 26: “Opting Out” of Mandatory Disclosure (with Dwight), 16 Haw. L. Rev. 167 (1994) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • The Paradise Tax (with Adler, Punu and Roth), in PRICE OF PARADISE 117 (R. Roth ed., 1993)
  • Friend, Foe or Something Else: Social Meanings of Reparations, 20 Denver J. Int’l Law & Pol. 223 (1992) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Restructuring For Justice: Redressing Past Wrongs, in RESTRUCTURING FOR WORLD PEACE 182-196 (M. Tehranian ed., 1992)
  • Rule 11 and State Courts: Panacea or Pandora’s Box (with Hart), 13 Haw. L. Rev. 58 (1991) Reprinted in 42 Def. L.J. 185 (1992) HeinOnlineScholarSpace
  • Resolving Disputes with Local Government Authorities in Pacific Rim Countries: The Hawaii Sandy Beach Controversy, The Town Planning and Local Government Guide 1 (Jan. 1990) (lead article)
  • Efficiency’s Threat to the Value of Accessible Courts for Minorities, 25 Harv. Civ. Rights-Civ. Lib. L. Rev. 341 (1990) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Summary Judgment At the Crossroads: The Impact of the Celotex Trilogy (with Leonard and Sodersten), 12 U. Haw. L. Rev. 1 (1990) (lead article) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Pending Procedural Reform in Hawaii’s Courts–New Civil Rules 11, 16 and 26: Benefits and Problems of Active Case Management, 22 Hawai`i Bar J. 1(1989) (lead article)
  • Case Management and the Hawaii Courts: The Evolving Role of the Managerial Judge in Civil Litigation, 9 Haw. L. Rev. 395 (1987) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • National Security and Civil Liberties, 24 Court Review 16 (1987) HeinOnline
  • Korematsu Revisited: Correcting the Injustice of Extraordinary Government Excess and Lax Judicial Review–Time For A Better Accommodation of National Security Concerns and Civil Liberties, 26 Santa Clara L. Rev. 1 (1986) (lead article) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace

Selected Other Publications

  • National Security and Democratic Liberties, Honolulu Star Advertiser, Feb. 17, 2017
  • Stereotypes Damage Our Community (with Serrano), Honolulu Advertiser, June 26, 2008
  • Kamehameha Schools Admissions Don’t Violate Civil Rights, IMUA 20 (2005) ScholarSpace
  • Introduction of Fred Korematsu, 6 APLPJ 220 (2005).  ScholarSpace 
  • Fred Korematsu – A Short Biography, Asian Am. Bar N’ltr 1 (fall 2004) HeinOnline |  ScholarSpace
  • Celebration, Caution, Challenge: Asian America at the Civil Rights Crossroads, Asian Law Caucus Reporter (July 2001)
  • The Colonizer’s Story: The Supreme Court Violates Native Hawaiian Sovereignty — Again (with Iijima), Color Lines 6 (Sum. 2000) ScholarSpace
  • What’s Next?: Life After Japanese American Reparations, J. Am. Bar Assoc. N’ltr 2 (July-August 1998)
  • Will Reparations Buy Justice for All?, Et al. 34 (Fall/Winter 1995)
  • Summing Up, Courts in the 21st Century, Proceedings of Hawaii Judicial Foresight Congress 33 (1993)
  • Ethics and Engagement in Legal Education, in In Celebration of Teaching, 61 (Center for Teaching Excellence 1991)
portrait photo


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