THE INSTITUTE FOR
Dr. Masahide Kato,
a.k.a. "Dr. Dread"
Research Associate, Journal Editor
Dr. Masahide Kato's truth quest began at the age of four in Hiroshima, Japan, when he asked his mother what had happened to their hometown on August 6, 1945. Unexpected confrontation with his mother’s deep silence and its underlying pain as a survivor marked the beginning of his journey in search of eternal peace. Through an NGO in Hiroshima, he gained an opportunity to get involved in peace education activities from the fifth grade to college years that included participation in Peace Youth exchange programs and conferences in multiple countries.
One of the places he visited through the exchange program was Hawaiʻi. Though he was only 13, he sensed the potential answers to his questions on peace from the people, culture, and land. A decade later he was back in Hawaiʻi through a student/scholar exchange. His experience in peace activism and his memories of Hawaiʻi led him to the center of the Native Hawaiian or Kanaka Maoli movement for self-determination. Besides his official scholarly work with the University, he was mentored by the Kanaka Maoli elders on Hawaiian cosmology, history, language, music, activism, and the way of liberating from the colonial occupation with the power of aloha. Through mentorship, activism, and his academic studies, he began to understand a 'revolution in consciousness' as the key to collective transformation toward peace.
After the publication of his dissertation as a book, he resumed his pedagogical activities at a community college in the Waiʻanae district with the highest concentration of Kanaka Maoli. This is where he learned about the real-life application of Indigenous epistemology and traditional ecological knowledge to community resilience. Since 2014, he has established his base at the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu, a stone’s throw distance from the Waiʻanae community to engage in the integration of peace, ecology, and indigenous epistemology as a catalyst for planetary transformation.