Professor Emeritus Naoyuki Agawa Gives the Yukichi Fukuzawa-Francis Wayland Memorial Lecture
May 29, 2017
On the 15th of May 1868 (Keio 4), 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 based on an economics text by the American 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 at the Mita Public Speaking Hall (Mita Enzetsu-kan) on Monday, May 15. Professor Emeritus Naoyuki Agawa, who is currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Doshisha University, gave a lecture titled “The constitution translated by Fukuzawa: the way of the United States of America.” Fukuzawa translated the Constitution of the United States of America for his book titled "Things Western (Seiyō Jijō )". Professor Emeritus Agawa mentioned Fukuzawa’s visit to the US during its revolutionary period, before and after the American Civil War, and talked about what shapes a nation, its transformations, and how it relates to the establishment and revision of constitutions. To end his lecture, he quoted part of the Gettysburg Address, a speech given by Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States of America.
The hall was full on the day, and there were people standing to hear Professor Emeritus Agawa talk. The audience members listened attentively to the entertaining lecture given by the professor, and at times, the hall was filled with laughter. 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 Keio University publication Mita-hyoron.
Professor Emeritus Naoyuki Agawa (currently Distinguished Visiting Professor at Doshisha University) giving his lecture
Mita Public Speaking Hall
During the lecture
Portraits of Francis Wayland and Yukichi Fukuzawa inside the Mita Public Speaking Hall