The Yukichi Fukuzawa-Francis Wayland Memorial Lecture
May 19, 2016
On the 15th of May 1868, the Boshin War had thrown Edo, present-day Tokyo, into a state of chaos. However, despite the battle between the Imperial forces and Tokugawa loyalists raging just five miles from his school, Yukichi Fukuzawa remained calm and continued to give his lecture from a text by the American political economist Francis Wayland. In doing so, Fukuzawa demonstrated to his students his belief that when it came to pursuing education and research, there was not a moment to be lost. Since 1956 Keio has designated this day Yukichi Fukuzawa-Francis Wayland Memorial Lecture Day and has celebrated it every year with a special lecture.
This year’s lecture took place on Monday, May 16, at the Mita Public Speaking Hall (Mita Enzetsu-kan). Professor Emeritus Shinya Sugiyama spoke on the topic of “Momosuke Fukuzawa and Yasuzaemon Matsunaga.” Momosuke Fukuzawa, nicknamed “the King of Electric Power,” and Yasuzaemon Matsunaga, known as “the Demon of Electric Power,” were the main drivers of the dynamic development of Japan’s electric power industry. Professor Sugiyama spoke about their careers and their personalities that emerge from those episodes, as well as the nature of their relationship.
A large audience gathered for the lecture, filling the Mita Public Speaking Hall to capacity. After the lecture, there were many people taking photos of the hall, which is a designated Important Cultural Property of Japan.
A transcript of the lecture is scheduled to be published in the July issue of Keio University publication Mita-hyoron.
Professor Emeritus Shinya Sugiyama giving his lecture