Every year, the Keio University community comes together to commemorate the birthday of Yukichi Fukuzawa, the founder of the university. This year, the celebrations for the 189th anniversary of Yukichi Fukuzawa's birthday were again held at the West School Building Hall on Mita Campus on Wednesday, January 10.
This year's ceremony began with choral performances of Here Stands Yukichi Fukuzawa, sung by students from the Keio Yochisha Elementary School and the Keio Yokohama Elementary School, and Nihon no Hokori (Pride of Japan), sung by the Wagner Society Male Chorus. In his new year's greeting, President Kohei Itoh expressed his condolences to the victims of the Noto Peninsula Earthquake and related incidents in Ishikawa Prefecture, and appealed for cooperation in providing support to the many people affected by the disaster, including Keio students and applicants. He also spoke with vigor about how Keio University, in 2024, will continue to be united as one in pursuing discussions based on high aspirations in all fields including education, research, medical care, and internationalization, for the development of Japan and the world.
Following that, author Hiroshi Aramata delivered a commemorative lecture titled "My Biography of Fukuzawa." The lecture was very lively as Mr. Aramata analyzed and deciphered Fukuzawa-sensei's philosophy from his own unique perspective, explaining key concepts such as "independence and self-respect" and "honorable character." The lecture will be included in the forthcoming issue of Mita-hyoron, the official monthly journal published by Keio University Press. We encourage anyone interested to read it when released.
Following the lecture, Hiroyuki Fukuzawa greeted the audience on behalf of the Fukuzawa family. An awards 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. It concluded with the singing of the "Juku-ka," Keio University's alma mater.
After the ceremony, a "New Year's Name Card Exchange" was held. In addition, visitors could also be found enjoying the newly opened exhibitions around campus. The Keio Museum Commons began its 2024 New Year Exhibition, Where the Dragons Are, and the Fukuzawa Yukichi Memorial Keio History Museum opened an exhibition of materials related to Keio Senior High School and the Keio University Baseball Club, as well as its 2024 newly acquired items by the Fukuzawa Memorial Center for Modern Japanese Studies.