Addresses: Chairman of the Board of the Hiroike Institute of Education And President of Reitaku University At the Entrance Ceremony of Reitaku University For the 2020 Academic year
2020.4.2

 

 

In order to prevent the further spread of the New Coronavirus Infection, Reitaku University has decided not to hold its planned entrance ceremony on April 2, 2020. Not to celebrate the entry into university life by you, our new students, at such a ceremony was an extremely heartbreaking and therefore difficult decision to take. We fully understand the feelings that you and your family members must be experiencing as a result, and we deeply appreciate your understanding of the fact that this decision was made solely to prioritize your health and safety.

 

Chairman’s Congratulatory Address

My fellow new students, I offer you my warmest congratulations on entering Reitaku University, and celebrate this occasion in company with all the faculty and staff members of the university.

As a result of the current nation-wide spread of the new coronavirus (covid-19), Reitaku University regretfully had to take the decision not to hold its entrance ceremony this year out of concern for your health and safety, although the cherry trees seem to have waited until your matriculation to become fully laden with blossom. I greatly appreciate your understanding of this difficult situation.

Reitaku University has, since its foundation, aimed to produce young men and women equipped with great integrity and a sense of morality who can contribute to today’s international society. In 1935, our founder, Chikuro Hiroike, established “Moralogy College,” the forerunner of Reitaku University, in the spirit of the educational ideal of the “unity of knowledge and morality (virtue).” He understood that knowledge is truly meaningful only when infused with human integrity and moral sense, and so intended to “produce true internationally minded persons who can be trusted and respected in the world” by offering thorough English language and practical, business education based on the building of character.

Hiroike, who had created “moralogy (a moral science) as a new science” in his Treatise on Moral Science, published in 1928, endeavored to promote character education by launching the school and its social education shortly thereafter in 1935. Based on this founding spirit of the university, let me outline for you some characteristics of the education it offers in this message to you, our new students.

Firstly, it is extremely important for you to clarify your purpose in entering the university and the nature of your plan for your future goals, before then working hard to achieve them. I encourage each of you to learn to lead a moral way of life, with moral principles, while you are a student here, and to establish your own views of life and the world. For the next four years, you will enjoy the joys of youth through dedication to academic learning and extracurricular activities, but you must remember that you owe what you are today to your benefactors, including your grandparents and parents. If you do not feel these obligations and make return to your benefactors, you cannot be considered a truly independent, free person able to stand on your own feet. I hope you will spend the precious four years of your student life well, making full use of the opportunity given to you, so that you will have no regrets and will become an individual who can repay what you owe to your benefactors in the future.

Secondly, the basis of our university is “education based on the unity of knowledge and morality (virtue).” As our founder taught us, “True knowledge should be one with, or included in morality. True morality must be based on right knowledge.” I encourage you, in studying and acquiring advanced knowledge at a university, the highest seat of learning, to nurture your human integrity, moral character and personality in parallel with knowledge. In short, knowledge and culture become meaningful only when they are informed by a rich humanity and a high moral character; therefore, you cannot contribute to society in the true sense of the term unless your knowledge and virtue grow in balance.

Thirdly, there is “the education of surpassing one’s master,” an idea deriving from the line in the Chinese classic, Xunji, which reads: “Blue emerges from indigo and is bluer than indigo.” We have many excellent faculty members with notable achievements as educators and researchers. I encourage you actively to absorb knowledge from them, to experience the rigor and joy of learning from them, and to be influenced by their moral character. In this way you will grow as a human being and, I hope, become greater than your teachers in the future, so contributing to the development and progress of our society and nation. In the library of Reitaku University, there is a framed motto which reads, “Preach sutra with sutra” (Wang Ming-sheng), meaning that the best methods of learning is for students to engage with the original writings of the masters, not the commentaries; this is the teaching of our founder that also derives from the Chinese classics. I urge you to visit the library as often as possible and to read books not just in the area of your major but in other fields as well, so as to acquire a wide range of knowledge and understanding of cultures.

Fourthly, I encourage you to study hard, pursuing a great dream and ideal, and to become a truly globally minded person of high integrity and moral virtue. Reitaku University is blessed with ample educational resources and a rich environment, including excellent faculty members from within and outside Japan, a Global Dormitory where students enjoy daily global communication by living together with students from all over the world, and study abroad programs with our global partner universities. I encourage you to become a truly globally minded person by learning about Japanese history, traditions and culture, taking the wisdom of our predecessors as the base on which to build as you acquire practical language proficiency and knowledge about the academic field of your major, but also to learn about the traditions, culture and society of foreign countries. Then you will be able to go out to work in today’s international society as the worthy successors of our graduates from preceding generations who are flourishing in the world.

I would also like to welcome our international students from overseas. Just as the Japanese people learned from western countries in the past, there may be some international students who are here to learn about the real reasons behind Japan’s economic successes by studying its history, tradition and culture. I encourage you not only to work hard to make your precious study abroad opportunity truly meaningful for your future, but also to deepen your understanding of Japan’s society and people and to make many good friends. This will make your study abroad experience even more memorable.

I encourage all our Japanese students to extend a warm welcome to our international students and to be humble enough to learn from them. We faculty and staff members will deal with Japanese and international students alike on an equal footing.

Finally, our faculty and staff members will treat each one of you as a lady or a gentleman, in the expectation that you will behave as a responsible university student so as to have no regrets or embarrassment to look back on afterwards. Leading a responsible student life is a step towards becoming a responsible person in society in the future. I trust that you will make your university years―a period of time indispensable in establishing a firm foundation for your life―enjoyable and meaningful for the future, as you aspire to fulfill your lofty ideals and dreams and work hard in the spirit of “Don’t forget your beginning,” refreshed with new feelings every day.

 

                                                   Mototaka HIROIKE

                                                  Chairman of the Board of Directors
Hiroike Institute of Education

 

President’s Address

 

Allow me to extend my heart-felt congratulations to all those who are matriculating to enter Reitaku University, their family and guarantors.

Out of concern for your welfare, Reitaku University has made the very difficult decision not to hold its entrance ceremony. You, our new students, and your family or guarantors who have supported you, must have been eagerly looking forward to attending the ceremony, with the cherry trees in full blossom, to celebrate your entry into life as a university student. We, the faculty and staff members of the university, cannot help but express our deepest regret when we consider the feelings that you all must be experiencing. However, even if we do not physically hold an entrance ceremony, this does not diminish the celebratory spirit in which we offer you our heartfelt congratulations on your matriculation. Representing Reitaku University, I would like to express my sincere congratulations to you, our new students, your family members and guarantors.

The total number of those who are matriculating as new students in the undergraduate program of three faculties, the Faculty of Foreign Studies, the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration and the Faculty of Global Studies, is 677. The total number of new students in the graduate program of our three graduate schools, the Graduate School of Language Education, the Graduate School of Economics and Business Administration and the Graduate School of Primary and Secondary Education is 18. Representing Reitaku University I would like to welcome these students from abroad.

Please allow me, at this point, to talk briefly about an experience of my own that impressed itself so strongly on my memory that I recall it every time matriculation comes around. Approximately 32 years ago, when I was 36 years old, I had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of Pennsylvania in the USA, even though I was a faculty member of Reitaku University. My memories of the impressions of my first class after matriculation are something like this:

I was struck first by the diversity of students I saw: they were from countries including the United States of America, China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and ranged in age from those in their 20s to those in their 60s. Next, I was very much impressed by the systematized curriculum that progressed from the basics of economics to more advanced material, by the thick textbooks used, and by the conscientiousness and zeal of the faculty members who taught us. Then there was the small size of the class, approximately 20 students only, which meant that, from day one of the course, the atmosphere was alive with questions and answers. There was no psychological wall between faculty members and students, creating an environment in which the faculty could grasp the individual character of each student and cater to their individual interests and needs. My strong impressions at the University of Pennsylvania resulted in the motto of “sticking to small size, sticking to internationalism” that still guides me

Now if we think of the present age, the revolutionary progress of information, communication, and means of transportation, together with the rise of mega Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) among other factors, means that many Japanese corporations have established a presence in Europe, the US and Asia etc., as the globalization of business has made further rapid progress. On the other hand, the world economy today has become more chaotic, with developments like the nationalistic “America First” policy, the outbreak of the US-China Trade War, and the world-wide spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19), among many others. Domestically, Japan has become an aging society with fewer children, making it more difficult to predict the future. However, seen from a different angle, these perils may be taken as the harbingers of something new. We are now in an age that requires “global leaders equipped with the toughness and adaptability needed to convert and combine things of different qualities under any circumstances, and a mindset with which to cope effectively with change.”

Approximately 85 years ago, in 1934, when Japan was exposed to a series of perils like the Showa Depression and competition between rival bloc economies, among others, the founder of Reitaku University, Chikuro Hiroike, L.L.D., established Moralogy College in this place robed in green. Based on the idea of “the unity of knowledge and morality (virtue),” which means that knowledge and morality should be harmoniously united into one entity, it was the forerunner of our university, which has produced quite a few leaders. Hiroike’s educational ideals and methods were quite unique: firstly, the “unity of knowledge and morality (virtue)” and an education based on the idea of the “unity of morality and economy,” that is education founded on the “morality of benefiting three parties: I, you and the third party”; secondly, the introduction of practical English education using authentic English textbooks, and organizing lectures by inviting Japanese and foreign dignitaries; and, thirdly, the adoption of a dormitory system, in which all students live, as a place to practice the idea of “benefiting the three parties.” This spirit of self-discipline in students endures to the present in the “global dormitory,” the residential hall for international education.

Respect for English led on to the foundation of the Faculty of Foreign Languages in 1959. Currently the same faculty, renamed the Faculty of Foreign Studies, implements the educational principle of the “unity of knowledge and morality (virtue)” by offering courses featuring Active Leaning to encourage students’ spontaneous learning, as well as majors and study abroad programs in which students learn English, German, Chinese and other languages and cultures. Coupled with classroom and extracurricular activities in which Japanese students interact with international ones, all these majors and programs exist to equip students with the toughness and mindset needed to work successfully in multi-cultural and multi-lingual societies after graduation.

Moreover, the tradition of inviting dignitaries from inside and outside Japan to lecture here endures to the present. In recent years, Reitaku University has conferred honorary doctoral degrees on distinguished individuals who have also given special lectures. These include: the 77th descendant of Confucius, Mr. Kung Te-chen in 2001; Ms. Michiko Inukai who worked to help refugees in Asian, African and European countries, in 2007; Mr. Chang Yung-fa, the then president of the Evergreen Group, an international transport firm, in 2014; and His Reverence the 14th Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in 2018. This year the same award and invitation is to be extended to Mr. Manlio Cadelo, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Japan and Ambassador Plenipotentiary of Republic of San Marino to Japan.

The idea of the “unity of morality and the economy,” meaning that morality and the economy should be harmoniously united into a single entity, resulted in the establishment of the International School of Economics and Business Administration (now called Faculty of Economics and Business Administration). This Faculty, based on the idea of the “unity of morality and the economy,” aims to enhance the integrity and resourcefulness of its students by, on the one hand, nurturing their moral sense and autonomy while, on the other, developing their academic knowledge and skills in a diverse group of majors that include Economics, Regional Revitalization, Business Administration, Sports Business, AI Business, and Data Science, as well as offering AI courses across all the majors.

To add to this, we now have the newly established Faculty of Global Studies, which embraces the concept of “connecting” diverse cultures and values to give its students ample opportunities to learn by offering a group of subjects that will cultivate their ability to collaborate and coexist with people around the world and to “connect diverse things.” It is by no means easy to do this with people of different cultures, religions, ways of making decisions and expressing themselves. Global abilities, including the above-mentioned strengths, knowledge and skills, cannot be acquired through conventional large-classroom learning activities alone; but moving outside the university campus into the world and its regions, accumulating experience in working harder together, does make this possible. Reitaku University, small enough for its faculty members to remember students’ names, offers plenty of “devices to ignite students’ eagerness to study.” Faculty and staff members are collaborating in new ways to support students in their endeavors to make progress. One of these is the booklet, 100 Books to be read by Reitaku University students, containing works selected to broaden the perspectives and deepen the understanding of all those studying here. Please make full use of this booklet.

To conclude my address, allow me to recall to our minds the words of the university song: “Each day you must be born anew.” I hope that each and every one of you will take a fresh step forward from today and lead a fulfilling life here on campus.

Suminori TOKUNAGA, Ph. D.

President of Reitaku University