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Obituary: Lisa Lena Opas-Hänninen (1957–2013)

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Our dearest friend Lisa Lena Opas-Hänninen loved Japan. She loved paying visits to Japan. This was an extremely fortunate fact for DH scholars in this part of the globe. Without Lisa Lena's presence, her ardent advocacy, and her warm friendship, the Japanese Association for Digital Humanities could not have been established in its present form. She led us along, helped us in many ways, and of course she enchanted us immensely with her beloved personality.

Lisa Lena and I collaborated to run workshops on corpus and text analysis on a number of occasions over the past few years. Beginning with the Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA) conference in 2007 at Kansai Gaidai University, we organised at least four DH workshops in Japan, leading up to the inaugural symposium of JADH held in Osaka in 2011.

She was always an enthusiastic, inspiring, insightful as well as welcoming, encouraging, and supportive person. She taught how to usefully apply digital methodologies in stylistics and textual studies. She gave the audience the delight of discovering hidden textual patterns and of gaining new insights into texts through digital approaches.

Just like her father, who was ex-Finnish Ambassador, Lisa Lena herself was a great ambassador of Digital Humanities. The increasing number of participants at the International DH conferences from Japan for the recent years typically reflects the growing number of her friends in this part of the world as a result of her dedicated efforts to disseminate the widening and engaging cross-disciplinary field.

Apart from academic aspects, Lisa Lena loved Japanese culture and cuisine. Tempura and sake, in particular, were irresistible to her. Her friends would know well how great a pleasure it was to have her company for dinner after a day of conference, workshop, or meeting ended. We would often have a talk over sake until late at night. We really liked her bright wit and her sophisticated sense of humour.

I still cannot believe she is not with us any more. This is a fact too hard to accept. Her passing is a huge loss that nothing can make up for.

We all miss Lisa Lena deeply.

In sadness

Tomoji Tabata (on behalf of JADH)