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Yusuke Suzumura, Visiting Academic Researcher, Hosei University
Political history, comparative philosophy, and cultural studies; Japan and East Asia
How long have you been a member of AAS?
I’ve been a member of AAS since 3rd July 2010.
Why did you join AAS and why would you recommend AAS to your colleagues?
Because I wanted to make a presentation at the annual conference held in Hawaii in 2011. I recommend AAS to my colleagues since AAS is an open-minded academic society for researchers of Asian studies.
How did you first become involved in Asian Studies?
My original discipline was Western philosophy, especially Kant and Heidegger. However I changed my academic interest from Western philosophy to Asian Studies when I read Okakura Kakuzo’s The Book of Tea in 2000. I discovered the possibility of studying Asian Studies through this book.
What do you enjoy most or what have been your most rewarding experiences involving your work in Asian Studies?
I can expand not only my knowledge, but also my research network.
Tell us about your current or past research.
Now my research examines an English version of the Japanese economic magazine The Oriental Economist (TOE). It was started in 1934 by Ishibashi Tanzan (1884-1973), who advocated international cooperation and economic liberalism in the pre-war period and became prime minister of Japan in 1956. Ishibashi aimed to publish TOE to tell foreigners (especially Americans) that Japan was not a country of militarism or a nation of fascists. In my research I compare articles from TOE with those of the Toyokeizai Shimpo, the original [Japanese-language] magazine of TOE between 1934 and 1945. By this comparison, we find differences in article tone or characteristics between the Toyokeizai Shimpo and TOE.
What advice or recommendation do you have for students interested in a career in Asian Studies?
Asian Studies consist of many fields and you have to open your door to everything.
Outside of Asian Studies, tell us some interesting facts about yourself.
I’m not only a specialist of Asian Studies but also a specialist in Major League Baseball (I have published three books in this field in Japan). I was a conductor of an orchestra of my high school when I was 16-18 years and now I play the clarinet in an amateur orchestra.