[japan@ihj] Rethinking Intellectual Legacy of Maruyama Masao

[An edited version of this lecture is available in the IHJ Bulletin, Vol.30, No.1, 2010.]

  • Date: Wednesday, January 27, 7:00 pm
  • Speaker: Rikki Kersten, Professor, Australian National University
  • Moderator: Samuel H. Yamashita, Professor, Pomona College
  • Commentator: Karube Tadashi, Professor, University of Tokyo
  • Admission: Free
  • Language: English (no Japanese translation provided)

Maruyama Masao (1914.1996) has long been considered one of Japan’s leading postwar thinkers, whose ideas helped forge political science as a discipline in postwar Japan. His intellectual presence continues to resonate in Japan after his death, notably in the subject areas of liberal democracy, fascism, the history of political thought in Japan, modernization, war responsibility discourse, and analysis of Fukuzawa Yukichi.Since Maruyama’s passing there has been a strong, steady outpouring of works assessing or criticizing his ideas. While this indicates ongoing interest in engaging with his writings, to what extent does this sustained fascination with Maruyama indicate a substantive intellectual legacy? In this lecture, Prof. Kersten will contextualize the various appraisals of Maruyama, and try to elaborate the nature of his intellectual legacy.

Rikki Kersten

Rikki KerstenMajoring in the history of political ideas in modern Japan, Prof. Rikki Kersten does research on debates over Japan’s war apology issue, historical revisionism and contemporary Japanese politics. After having taught at Sydney and Leiden universities, she joined the ANU in 2006 and served as Dean of the Faculty of Asian Studies until 2008. Her major publications include Democracy in Postwar Japan: Maruyama Masao and the Search for Autonomy (Routledge, 1996) and The Left in the Shaping of Japanese Democracy (co-editor and contributor) (Routledge, 2006)

Samuel H. Yamashita

Specializing in the study of traditional/modern Asian history, the Pacific war, intellectual history and Confucianism, Prof. Samuel H. Yamashita is Henry E. Sheffield Professor of History at Pomona College. His chief publications include Master Sorai’s Responsals: An Annotated Translation of “Sorai sensei tomonsho” (University of Hawaii Press, 1994) and Leaves from an Autumn of Emergencies: Selections from the Wartime Diaries of Ordinary Japanese (University of Hawaii Press, 2005).

Karube Tadashi

Specializing in the history of Japanese political thought, Prof. Karube Tadashi is a professor in the School of Legal and Political Studies at the University of Tokyo. His major publications include Utsuriyuku Kyoyo [Cultivation of Humanity and its Changing Forms] (NTT Shuppan, 2007) and Maruyama Masao and the Fate of Liberalism in Twentieth-Century Japan (I-House Press, 2008).