Welcome to Keio Academy of New York!
I am very pleased that Keio Gijuku invited me to go back to New York; back in the 1980s, I spent three years at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York where I concentrated on imbibing the new wave of continental philosophy and completing my own Ph.D. dissertation on American Renaissance writers.
After coming back to Tokyo, I joined the Faculty of Letters in 1989 and started teaching American Literature and Critical Theory. Thus, since 1990 I have directed more than 400 BA theses, more than 40 MA theses, and more than 20 Ph.D. dissertations. In 2017 I also established Keio University’s Association for American Studies, with a view to promoting transpacific cultural studies. What I studied in the United States undoubtedly made a difference to my own history of academic research and pedagogy cultivated at Keio University.
In retrospect, Fukuzawa Yukichi sensei, the founding father of Keio Gijuku and modern Japan, was a transpacific intellectual from the beginning. He visited the United States of America twice, in 1860 and 1867 and purchased a copy of Webster’s English Dictionary, presumably A Pronouncing and Defining Dictionary of the English Language (1856). Making use of the dictionary, Fukuzawa became the first translator of Thomas Jefferson’s drafted text “The Declaration of Independence” (1776) and invited to Keio Gijuku a number of North American scholars from Harvard University such as Rev. Arthur May Knapp and especially Professor Thomas Sergeant Perry, the great-nephew of Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, who served as the first teacher of Anglo-American literature at Keio University. It is remarkable that Fukuzawa tactfully incorporated the American vision of democracy into Japanese culture. Therefore, If I am permitted to inspire youngbloods to empower the heritage of transpacific cultural transactions at Keio Academy of New York, I would be very pleased.
Dr. Takayuki Tatsumi
Headmaster of Keio Academy of New York
Professor Emeritus of Keio University