去る12月9日と10日の2日にわたり、「Linking Past to Present: Long-term Perspectives on Micro-Level Demographic Processes」というテーマで国際人口学会・歴史人口学セミナーが本学で開催され、すこぶる有意義なプレゼンテーションと議論が交わされた。グローバルに道徳を研究した本学の創立者、廣池千九郎生誕150年を記念する事業にもふさわしく、アメリカ合衆国、香港、スウェーデン、スペイン、台湾、ベルギー、フィンランド、中国、イタリアなど、世界各国から専門家が集い、実に国際色豊かなセミナーとなった。セミナーの詳細なプログラムについては、添付資料があるので、ぜひご覧いただきたい。
またスペインのDiego Ramiro Fariñas博士 (Spanish National Research)と Martin Dribe博士 (Lund University)とともにScientific Committeeを構成する本学の黒須里美教授が、本セミナーを成功させた立役者であることを特筆しておきたい。
Good morning. As you will know from the kind introduction you have just heard, I have the honour to be the president of Reitaku University. It is indeed a great pleasure for us to host this International seminar on Linking Past to Present: Long-term Perspectives on Micro-Level Demographic Processes. Our university is very much accustomed to taking a long-term perspective, especially this year, in which we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of our founder, Dr. Chikuro Hiroike. I would like to express my deep respect and sincere gratitude to the IUSSP Scientific Panel on Historical Demography which has organized this enlightening symposium together with ourselves and in collaboration with the Population Association of Japan.
Reitaku University has strong links with demographic studies. Two of our eminent emeritus professors, Professor Shigemi Kono and Professor Akira Hayami, majored in the subject. Their legacies are greatly valued here. Professor Hayami, for example, left us not just the example of a vigorous and enthusiastic researcher during the 10 years he spent at our University’s Tokyo Research Centre in Shinjuku in central Tokyo between 1995 and 2005. He also, after his retirement, very generously donated to our university the stupendous collection of materials on historical demography that he had collected over nearly half a century. It is also known as Shumon Aratame Cho or Shushi Ninbetsu Aratame Cho, and constitutes a register of around 1500 villages created in the Edo period, the equivalent of a modern household register. At present, our Library houses it as part of our “Reitaku Archives”, or more specifically, our “Historical Demography Archives.”
The word “archives” itself also has a special resonance in our university, since our founder Dr. Hioike was the first civil advocate in Japan and author of the proposal to establish its archives, whose importance he stressed in his 1891 publication, the History of Nakatsu, which delved into the local history of Nakatsu in Oita Prefecture, Kyushu, where he was born. As a result of his advocacy, Japanese scholars of Western history demanded the establishment of an archives bureau for our country. In this light, the theme of this International Seminar, “Linking Past to Present”, is especially appropriate as we look back to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of our founder. The historical science of Dr. Hiroike, which is our legacy, is closely linked to your subject, demography, along the intellectual coordinate axis labeled “archives”, while this symposium will construct another intellectual coordinate axis to link our past to your present.
Before I close, there is one more important professor whom I must mention and commend to you. Professor Satomi Kurosu is Dean of our Graduate School of Language Education and Director of the Population and Family History Project (PFHP) at Reitaku University. Without her the project of bringing this symposium to Reitaku would not have been realized. She is very popular not only among our students but also with her colleagues. She is a role model for all members of our university and is, it seems to me, more skilled at empowering others than I am.
In conclusion, allow me, on behalf of Reitaku University, to express my sincerest gratitude and appreciation to all of you, whether distinguished participants or knowledgeable auditors, for your attendance here today. Please accept my earnest good wishes for the success of this enlightening symposium. Thank you very much for your attention.