On August 1st, 2017, the Council on East Asian Studies had the pleasure of hosting ten junior high school students from Nihonmatsu, Japan. Coordinated by the City of Nihonmatsu’s Board of Education, two students from five junior high schools in Nihonmatsu are invited each year to take part in a pilgrimage to the United States to honor the memory of Professor Asakawa Kan’ichi. This year, the Council was also happy to receive Mr. Masahiro Sato, Director General of Welfare, and Yuki Saito, an English teacher.
Professor Asakawa, a native of Nihonmatsu, was an academic, author, historian, librarian, curator and peace advocate who became the first Japanese-born scholar to receive a professorship at a major American university. He taught at Yale University from 1907 to 1942, served as curator of the East Asian Collection at the Yale University Library from 1907 to 1948, and built the foundation for Japanese research collections at both Yale and the Library of Congress. (For more information about Professor Asakawa, please visit the Council on East Asian Studies website.)
The students began their visit by paying their respects to Professor Asakawa, laying flowers on his grave. They then had a full tour of the East Asia Library and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and were given the opportunity to see for themselves some of the Professor’s original writings. The group then visited the Asakawa Garden located in the Killingworth Courtyard in Saybrook College, and ended the tour with a lunch at the Silliman College dining hall.
We are always happy to receive our friends from Nihonmatsu, and we look forward to seeing them again next year!