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Ceremony and Lectures to Commemorate the 125th Year since the Establishment of the First University Departments at Keio

Update:Nov. 30, 2015

On Saturday, October 24, a ceremony and lectures were held at the Mita Public Speaking Hall (Mita Enzetsu-kan) to commemorate the 125th year since the establishment of the first university departments at Keio University. In January of 1890, Keio welcomed three professors from overseas nominated by then-President of Harvard Charles Eliot to head the the three newly established university departments of literature (W.S. Liscomb), economics (G. Droppers), and law (J.H. Wigmore).

President Atsushi Seike opened the ceremony with an address, describing the circumstances in which the departments were established and the history between Harvard and Keio until the present. Following this, with Associate Professor Aya Yamanashi of the Faculty of Literature presiding as master of ceremonies, Associate Professor Takeyuki Tokura of the Fukuzawa Memorial Center for Modern Japanese Studies gave a lecture on Yukichi Fukuzawa’s conflicting views on the ideas of “taji soron” [arguing many issues] and “kanmin chowa” [harmony between the government and people] and Professor Sahoko Kaji of the Faculty of Economics gave a lecture in English titled “Learning from Europe in the 21st Century.”

Professor Tokura, using articles from the Jiji Shimpo newspaper, discussed Fukuzawa’s thoughts and conduct in 1890, the year the university departments were founded. Professor Kaji spoke about the society and economy in Europe after the 20th century and also shared her thoughts and opinions regarding Keio University. The audience listened quietly during the lectures and a lively Q&A session followed. The ceremony and lectures concluded with the singing of the Alma Mater “The Juku-ka” by all who attended.

After the lectures, a reception was held in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere inside the Keio University Library (Old Building), in which Vice-President Akira Haseyama delivered a toast and Professors Emeriti Masamichi Komuro and Takao Suzuki each gave a speech.

Mita Public Speakng Hall (Mita Enzetsu-kan)
Mita Public Speakng Hall (Mita Enzetsu-kan)
During the lecture
During the lecture

President Seike giving his address
President Seike giving his address
Associate Professor Tokura ginving his lecture
Associate Professor Tokura ginving his lecture

Inside the hall
Inside the hall
Audience listening attentively
Audience listening attentively

Photo: Susumu Ishito