College of Arts and Humanities
Media, Communications and Journalism | 559.278.0059 | Office: Speech Arts (SA) Building 140 I
- University of North Dakota - Ph.D. in Communication (In progress)
- Waseda University - M.A. in Journalism (2012)
- Meiji Gakuin University - B.A. in English Literature (2009, Summa Cum Laude)
- Audio Production
- Video News Production
- Applied Media Research
Hanayo Oya (she/her/hers) is a multi-award-winning journalist, documentary filmmaker, and producer from Japan. In Fall 2023, she joined the Department of Media, Communications, and Journalism at the College of Arts and Humanities as a tenure-track Assistant Professor. She also serves as an Adjunct Researcher at the Institute for the Next Generation of Journalism and Media, Waseda University, Japan.
Before joining Fresno State, Oya was a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Broadcast
& Digital Journalism at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
As a Fulbright scholar, she conducted research at the Investigative Reporting Program
at the University of California, Berkeley. Her previous experience includes serving
as a TV reporter and director in Okinawa, where she produced several award-winning
Committed to inspiring a love for storytelling and championing the journalism profession as one of the most exciting careers in the world, Oya brings her passion for teaching to the forefront. She believes in learning alongside her students and fostering an environment where creativity, diversity, inclusion, and journalistic integrity flourish.
Oya's journalistic core value is a commitment to using storytelling to hold power accountable and amplify the voices of underrepresented communities. She has a strong track record of producing and directing multiple documentary films, including the critically acclaimed "Boy Soldiers: The Secret War in Okinawa" (2017). She also recently contributed as a field producer to a documentary series set to be released on Netflix.
Oya has won several awards, including the Kinema Junpo Award for Best Documentary Film, Japan’s most prestigious film award. Her work has been showcased at renowned international film festivals, such as the Busan International Film Festival, the largest film festival in Asia. She has secured substantial grants, including two competitive grants totaling $120k from the U.S. State Department to support her global reporting education projects and U.S.-Japan international journalism network initiatives. In 2020, Oya was one of only four distinguished filmmakers selected by the Japanese government to receive a high-profile grant.
Oya holds an M.A. in Journalism from Waseda University (2012) and a B.A. in English Literature from Meiji Gakuin University (2009). She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Communication at the University of North Dakota.
Outside of her professional endeavors, Oya enjoys traveling, practicing Japanese martial arts Kendo, and playing Sanshin, a traditional musical instrument of Okinawa.
SELECTED AWARDS & HONORS
- Fulbright Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (The U.S. Department of State, 2022)
- Fulbright Alumni Awards for U.S. Embassy recognition (The U.S. Embassy Tokyo, 2022)
- Study Abroad Scholarship (Yoshida Scholarship Foundation, 2022)
- The Program of Overseas Study for Upcoming Artists Fellowship (The Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Government of Japan, 2020)
- Best Article of the Month (The Asahi Shimbun Editorial Committee, 2020)
- Mika Yamamoto Memorial Honorable Award for International Journalist (Mika Yamamoto Memorial Foundation, 2020)
- Award for Best Documentary Film (The Kinema Junpo Award for Best Film of the Year, 2019)
- Award for Best Director (The Japan Film Association, 2019)
- Fulbright Scholarship (The U.S. Department of States, the Government of Japan, 2018)
- Best Culture and Art Award for Film Director (The Fumiko Yamaji Foundation, 2018)
- Best of Documentary Film of the Year (The Japan Film Pen Club, 2018)
- Best Prize of Progress Award (TV Asahi, 2017)
- Award for Best TV Documentary of the Year (Ryukyu Asahi Broadcasting, 2017)
- Excellence Award for Reporting (The TV Directors’ Short Reporting Competition in Kyushu, 2015)
- Award for Photography (The Photographic Society of Japan, 2013)
- Scholarship for Graduate Students with Excellent Achievements (Japan Student Services Organization, the Government of Japan, 2012)
- Summa Cum Laude at the Faculty of Letters, Meiji Gakuin University (2009)
SELECTED SIGNIFICANT FUNDED PROJECTS & GRANTS
- Co-Principal Investigator
- Title: Developing the Japan-U.S. Journalist Network
- Funding body: The U.S. Department of State
- Value: $80k
- Duration: 2022 - 2024
- Principal Investigator
- Title: Delivering Japan Global Citizenship and Intercultural Communication Pilot Project
- Funding body: Syracuse University (Hendricks Chapel, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Office of Diversity and Inclusion)
- Value: $13k
- Year: 2023
- Principal Investigator
- Title: Developing a global reporting education program for aspiring international journalists
- Funding body: The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo
- Value: $40k
- Duration: 2022 - 2023
- Principal Investigator
- Title: Researching the U.S. Status of Forces Agreement and its effects on the criminal jurisdiction of host countries
- Funding body: The Program of Overseas Study for Upcoming Artists Fellowship (The Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Government of Japan)
- Value: $40k
- Duration: 2020 - 2021
- Oya, H. (2020). Okinawa Wartime Malaria: The Enforced Relocation and Death of 3,600 Civilians (Award-winning). Akebi Shobo.
- Oya, H. with Hanada, T. & Watanabe, M. (2017). Developing Investigative Journalism in Japan. Sairyusha.
- Oya, H. (Director, Cameraperson, Editor). (2019). The U.S. Military Issue in Ireland. [Short film]. Yahoo! Japan News Special Feature Story.
- Oya, H. (Director). (2018). Boy Soldiers: The Secret War in Okinawa [Film]. The Secret War in Okinawa Production Committee. (Multi-award-winning)
- Oya, H. (Director, Cameraperson, Editor). (2018). North Korean Refugees on Yeonpyeong Island. [Short Film]. Yahoo! Japan News Special Feature Story.
- Oya, H. (Director, Cameraperson, Editor). (2018). Japanese Self-Defense Forces Deployment on Yonaguni Island, Okinawa. [Short Film]. Yahoo! Japan News Special Feature Story.
- Oya, H. (Director, Cameraperson, Editor, Narrator). (2017). The Post-9/11 Veterans and Their Endless War with PTSD. [Short film]. Yahoo! Japan News Special Feature Story
- Oya, H. (Director, Reporter). (2016). I Was the Terrorist: The U.S. Veterans Stood up to Stop the New U.S. Military Base Construction in Okinawa. [TV program]. Ryukyu Asahi Broadcasting. (Rerun 2017 nationwide in Japan) (Multi-award-winning)
- Oya, H. (Director, Reporter, Narrator). (2016). At the End of the Road: Dialogues with a Former Japanese Soldier. [TV program]. Ryukyu Asahi Broadcasting. (Multi-award-winning)
- Oya, H. (Director, Cameraperson, Narrator, Editor). (2012). The Southernmost Coral Reef. [Film]. Graduate School of Journalism, Waseda University.