Symposium, "Eiji Asada and Tokyo University of Foreign Studies" Held
February 8, 2016
On January 9th, a symposium, "Eiji Asada and Tokyo University Foreign Studies" was conducted at TUFS. Asada was a curriculum coordinator at Tokyo Gaikokugo Gakko, (Tokyo School of Foreign Languages), the predecessor of TUFS. He devoted himself to the development of the school, which was still in its infancy. Asada studied translation of the Old Testament in the United States and later became the first recipient of the first Ph.D. degree awarded by the University of Chicago. After he came back to Japan, he also made efforts on at developing English education and Esperanto.
In the symposium, Akira Kawaguchi and TUFS Emeritus Professor Akira Baba delivered presentations respectively titled "Asada Eiji: His achievements and role" and "Social circles of Eiji Asada and Soseki Natsume". Kawaguchi, a resident of Shunan City, Yamaguchi Prefecture where Asada was born, has studied Asada and his achievements, discovering materials related to Asada.
The presentations introduced Asada's achievements, such as his claim of the importance of learning languages by focusing on using body parts including the ears, mouth, eyes, and hands. His claim is still relevant today. The presenters also talked about the historical background of Asada's era.
With more than 40 participants including Asada's relatives, the symposium was a big success.
2015 marked the 150th anniversary of Asada's birth. To celebrate this anniversary, the TUFS library had carried out an exhibition, "Eiji Asada and Tokyo University Foreign Studies" on the first floor of the library. This exhibition showcased precious materials brought from institutions such as Yamaguchi Shunan City Library. Also, TUFS Archives website has set up a special page, featuring the life of Asada, who was known as "the father of TUFS' restoration".
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