Yale University had a Symposium on Patriotically-minded Historian Kan’ichi Asakawa.


This weekend, cherry blossoms will be in a full bloom in Tokyo, but unfortunately it will be raining.

The title of this blog: "Yale University had a Symposium on Patriotically-minded Historian Kan’ichi Asakawa. He is on spotlight again." is an article of Sankei Shimbun from March 29th. I know many people who visit my website know of Dr. Asakawa.

The small headings of Sankei Shimbun’s article were "He had foresight and indicated Japan’s course" and "Dr. Kan’ichi Asakawa said ‘Japan will lose the trust of the world’ and ‘the United States is a country of public opinion.’" This is the same purpose as mine which I always write about in this site. For the past 100 to 150 years, Japanese basic thought has been introverted, and Japanese can only see things panoramically and have closed-minds which are not good at thinking. Why have Japanese been like this? I think this is an interesting theme for us to think hard.

If Japan had only a small presence in the world, Japanese mind-set would only be a problem inside of Japan (although this is also not good!) and this would not a big problem to the world. However, Japan is the world’s second-largest economy. I think self-righteousness is not acceptable in this era of globalization and even dangerous. I am a little worried when I see the current state of the world, rapidly changing Asian situations and the direction in which Japan is seemingly heading to.

Was this symposium held because people feel same kind of anxiety as me? The answer is probably ‘No’. This symposium was held this March because hundred of years have passed since Dr. Asakawa had taught for the first time. The symposium theme was "Japan and the World: Domestic Politics and How the World Looks to Japan" and some noted individuals from Japan that you may recognize were in attendance. If you think of the present global landscape, this year is the historical hundredth year for Japan, too. This is such a coincidence!

Dr. Asakawa is the first Japanese professor in the United States. He is the first to become a professor at Yale University. The first Japanese who officially got in and graduated from Yale University was Dr. Yamakawa Kenjiro, who served as a sixth president of the University of Tokyo and in fact was a remaining survivor of the Aizu Clan’s Byakkotai. In 2005, when Dr. Richard Levin, current president of Yale University, came to Japan, he introduced to the audience Dr. Asakawa and Dr. Yamakawa in his lecture at Tokyo University.

Monthly Kogaku Shimbun is a website for international students living in Japan, which introduces 50 international Japanese in the series. This website is very interesting. Many people, including Dr. Asakawa and Dr. Yamakawa, that I spoken of on my website have been introduced in this series.

In the interview,"For the National Vision Using Science as Borderless Tools"(Iwanami Shoten, Publishers World),"life science and ethic" was discussed and Dr. Asakawa was introduced as well. Please read it.

"History repeats itself" is not acceptable anymore. My conclusion, "Have we become wiser?" was the heading of the lunch session, "World Knowledge Dialogue" held in Geneva.