Two days full of intellecutal inspirations; with Drs. Azimi, Miayagawa, and Ikegami


Last Friday (June 26), I have been to Hiroshima.  It was the last Roundtable for Dr. Nassirine Azimi upon her resignation from director of the UNITAR Hiroshima office where she has served for 6 years. Professor Shigeru Miyagawa and I gave lectures under the theme of 'Diversity'.  A crowd of Dr. Azimi's fans, well aware of her wonderful activities during these 6 years, gathered at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum hall where the event took place.  I had a nice relaxed dinner with Dr. Azimi and her staffs in the evening.

The content of the lectures as well as handouts are posted on the web site of UNITAR and Chugoku Shinbun newspaper.

Next day, on 27th , Drs. Azimi, Miyagawa and myself went for a walk at Miyajima.

Back to Tokyo in the evening of the same day, I enjoyed a lively dinner with Dr. Miyagawa of MIT and Dr. Eiko Ikegami, who is also working very actively in the United States.

Dr. Miyagawa is one of the faculty members that developed the 'Open Course Ware' of MIT, showing how the educational materials should be in the internet age.  He is also offering a very unique, exciting course called Visualizing Cultures with Professor John Dower, well known in Japan also for his book 'Embracing Defeat'. This course uses materials such as Commodore Perry's visit to Japan, Russo-Japanese war, atomic bomb damage at Hiroshima, Shiseido, etc.  I recommend that you visit these sites.

Dr. Ikegami is the author of 'The Taming of the Samurai', (Japanese edition title 'Honor and Adaptation; socio-historical study on the Samurai Spirit') which I have introduced several times in my blog (in Japanese), and more recently has published 'Bonds of Civility: Aesthetic Networks and the Political Origins of Japanese Culture' (Ref.1 Japanese edition title 'Bonds of Beauty and Civility; Political Origins of Japanese Socializing Culture'), both books being great elaborate works on the history of Japanese Culture.  I have been corresponding with her via e-mails but this was the first time to see her in person.  The books were written originally in English (published from Harvard University Press and Cambridge University Press respectively) and were translated into Japanese, which is truly amazing.

It was a very, very full and intellectually inspiring two days.