50th Anniversary of the Academic Association of Koreanology

Koreanology in Japan, an international scholarly association whose main office is located at Tenri University, held its 51st annual meeting at the university. This year, which marks the 50th anniversary of the association, approximately 250 scholars participated in it.

In his presidential address at the opening of the meeting, Professor Taketo Hashimoto, who is also president of Tenri University, said, “This year’s meeting commemorates the 50th anniversary of the association. As part of the celebration, the memorial issue of the association’s journal Chosen gakuho has been published, and a special symposium will be held during the meeting.” He also stressed the significance of this year’s meeting by saying that the milestone of the 50th anniversary would present the members with an opportunity to review their association’s past as well as to consider its prospects for the next 50 years, or even the next century.

This year’s meeting focused on the relationship between Korea and Japan in ancient times, and summed up the relevant discussion presented in previous years. The first day was highlighted by two public lectures by Professor Hisayuki Yamao from Ritsumeikan University and Professor Tadashi Nishitani from the University of Kyushu. They both spoke on a specific type of ancient mausoleum found in both Japan and Korea, and presented their views on what that fact suggests in relation to the ties between Japan and Korea in ancient times. On the morning of the second day, about 30 scholars, including four from South Korea, presented their papers in one of the following three areas: language, literature, and history-people-archeology. This was followed by an afternoon symposium which had six specialists in the field as panelists.

Since its establishment in 1950, the association has promoted academic studies on Korea through its annual meetings and quarterly publication of the journal Chosen gakuho. It has also made an outstanding contribution to the scholarly exchange between South Korea and Japan by inviting eminent South Korean scholars to its annual meetings since 1961. The number of these invited scholars has exceeded 160. Currently the association has 651 members including 133 overseas members.

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