JSPS London Symposium Series
Keio University/British Library International Symposium
On 22 July 2009, to mark the 150th anniversary of its inception, Keio University held a commemorative international symposium co-hosted with the British Library themed "Retrospect and Prospect." This symposium was also supported by JSPS and Japan Foundation.
2008 was a milestone year not only being the actual 150th anniversary year of Keio University but also the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce. In 1862, the Founder of Keio University, Yukichi Fukuzawa, as an official envoy for Japan, came on a pioneering visit to London to experience the ways of society and thereby formed a very deep link between Keio University and the UK.
At the start of the symposium, welcome addresses were given by Professor Naoyuki Agawa, Vice President for International Collaboration and Education, Keio University, by Mr. Robert Milne, Director of Scholarships and Collections, the British Library and Dr. Kristian Jensen, Head of British Collections, the British Library. Everyone present also paid their respects to Dr. Carmen Blacker, a highly regarded scholar of Japanese Culture from Cambridge University who passed away on 13th July 2009. The symposium continued with a special lecture given by Professor Alan Macfarlane of King's College, Cambridge University entitled: "Fukuzawa Yukichi and the Making of the Modern World." After a short recess and as a response, Professor Tatsuya Sakamoto, Faculty of Economics, Keio University, gave on lecture themed, "The Legacy of Fukuzawa and the Future of Keio."
Once these two lectures had finished, Mr. Hamish Todd, Head of the Japanese Section at the British Library, gave an explanatory speech about the valuable Japanese books and manuscripts that were on display. This was followed by a closing address from Professor Peter Mathias, Former Master of Downing College, Cambridge University and then the reception. Those who participated in the reception were able to appreciate the items on display which included literary work by Fukuzawa called "English Parliament" (Eikoku Gijin Dan) (First Edition; 1869) and "Independence of the Scholar's Mind" (Gakusha Anshin Ron) (First Edition) as well as manuscripts relating to early diplomatic relations between Japan and the UK.
JSPS London also had a booth with staff members on hand to explain to participants about the organisation's activities and funding programmes.