This year, the celebrations for the 185th anniversary of Yukichi Fukuzawa's birthday were held at the West School Building Hall on Mita Campus on Friday, January 10.
Every year, on January 10, the Keio University community celebrates the birthday of Yukichi Fukuzawa, the founder of the university. (Fukuzawa was born on December 12 of the fifth year of the Tenpo era, which is January 10, 1835 in the solar calendar.)
The ceremony began with two choral performances, the first by children from Keio Yochisha Elementary School who sang "Here Stands Yukichi Fukuzawa" and the second by members of the Wagner Society who sang "nihon no hokori (Japanese pride)." This was followed by a new year's greeting from President Haseyama.
Afterward, Professor Naoko Nishizawa of the Fukuzawa Memorial Center for Modern Japanese Studies (vice director of the center) gave a commemorative lecture titled "An accepting society — learning from Yukichi Fukuzawa's views on women and family." Referring to various books written by Fukuzawa, she introduced his views on women and family that explain what is necessary to improve the status of women, such as gender equality. It was a talk rich in suggestions on how to promote women's social advancement in modern Japan.
After the lecture, Takeshi Fukuzawa greeted the audience on behalf of the Fukuzawa family. An award ceremony for the Keio University-sponsored national high school student essay contest established in honor of Shinzo Koizumi, a former president of the university, followed, where five winners were presented with certificates and commemorative gifts from President Haseyama.
After the celebrations, a New Year's Name Card Exchange was held at the student cafeteria. Many students, alumni, and faculty and staff members gathered again on Mita Campus this year to remember Fukuzawa and to exchange new year's greetings in a lively atmosphere.
Keio Yochisha Elementary School children singing in the West School Building Hall
New year's greeting from President Haseyama
Commemorative lecture by Professor Naoko Nishizawa