Japan Institute for National Fundamentals

THE 3rd(2016) – Recipients of Kokkiken Japan Study Award

Terada Mari Japan Study Award

Japan Study Award
Yang Haiying, aka Akira Ohno(Professor at Shizuoka University)

“Nippon Rikugun to Mongoru―Koan Gunkan Gakko no Shirarezaru Tatakai”―English translation: “The Untold Story of the Hinggan Military Academy of the Man-chukuo Imperial Army―The Dissonance between the Imperial Japanese Army and Mongolia”(Chuokoron-shinsha, 2015)

“Chibetto ni Mau Nihonto―Mon-goru Kihei no Gendaishi”―Eng-lish translation: “A History of the Mongolian Cavalry of the PLA Armed with Japanese Swords to Quell the Tibetans”(Bungeishunju, 2014)

Recipient’s remark: “The Land of the Sun” Brought Modern Civilization to Mongolia

Yang Haiying, aka Akira Ohno

“Naran Ulus” is a Mongolian term, meaning verbatim “the Land of the Sun.” People in Mongolia affectionately use this phrase when they refer to Japan. It was close to the end of the 19th century when the Mongolian population came into contact with modern Japan that deserved to be described as “the Land of the Sun.” Countless numbers of Mongolians and Japanese thereafter fought for the modernization of Asia—Eurasia, to be exact.

Mongolia is home to the nomads who have inherited the unique nomadic civilization that goes back to the era of the Xiongnu confederation of Eurasian nomads who dominated the Asian Steppe before Common Era. As such, the late Tadao Umesao, who was the founding director-general of the National Museum of Ethnology in Suita, Osaka Prefecture, and social anthropologist Masatake Matsubara—both of whom taught me—extensively studied the history of Mongolia. I recall that Dr. Umesao maintained that the Japanese and Western civilizations had a common nature and that therefore Japan managed to successfully modernize itself. I, for my part, recognize—in line with the observation of Dr. Umesao—that Japan successfully took a path toward modernization, proving the virtue of its civilization is even now valid in the eyes of not only Asia but also the world as a whole.

In my childhood as a native of the Ordos Plateau, southern Mongolia, I began yarning for “the Land of the Sun.” My father, who used to be a cavalryman of the Mongolian army, and his former fellow soldiers always told me to “be honest and fair and lead a disciplined life like Japanese people.” My father was initially unable to speak Japanese, but he later became capable of understanding figures in Japanese, thanks to one of his superior officers who graduated from the Hinggan (Xingan) Military Academy of the Manchukuo Imperial Army. When I became a senior high school student, I began learning Japanese from a person who used to be an official of the autonomous area of Mengjiang, known in English as Mongol Border Land, in Inner Mongolia, that existed as a puppet state of Japan under nominal Chinese sovereignty. I still remember how greatly my family members were pleased. When, I went to Beijing to learn Japanese further at the department of foreign languages at a university, all of my relatives and acquaintances who used to live in southern Mongolia, experiencing Japanese rule, started communicating with me in Japanese. For Mongols, Japanese is the language of a sophisticated civilization that symbolizes Japan’s modernization.

Japan opened schools everywhere in southern Mongolia, launching a formal education system throughout the area to let residents have the knowledge of advanced medicine and learn the importance of hygiene. As a result, the grassland nomads could readily transform themselves as members of a completely contemporary nation in the summer of 1945. Furthermore, Japan left five Japanese-style cavalry divisions in the hands of Mongols. In other words, the Japanese withdrew from the area after handing over two modern states and a set of various sovereign and social systems—Manchukuo and the Mengjiang autonomous area—to the modern Mongolian nation.

However, the Mongolians were not in a position to fully inherit a modern civilization they earned from “the Land of the Sun” as a national asset. Six months prior to the end of the Second World War, the leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union reached a set of secret agreements in Yalta, including one that would let China rule what it is now Inner Mongolia once the war was over. Nevertheless, those Mongols who were thus deprived of their right to self-determination have led robust lives while continuously embodying both the Japanese spirits and their ethnic ideology. I thoroughly depict this way of living, unique to Mongolian people in two of my books: “Chibetto ni Mau Nihonto — Mongoru Kihei no Gendaishi” (A History of the Mongolian Cavalry of the PLA Armed with Japanese Swords to Quell the Tibetans) and “Nippon Rikugun to Mongoru—Koan Gunkan Gakko no Shirarezaru Tatakai” (The Untold Story of the Hinggan Military Academy of the Manchukuo Imperial Army—The Dissonance between the Imperial Japanese Army and Mongolia). We Mongols believe that the purest form of Japan’s modern civilization is still retained in the Japanese and Mongolian ways of living.

Recipient’s biography

Born in the Ordos Plateau, southern Mongolia, in 1964, Yang Haiying graduated from the Department of Asian and African Languages at the Beijing Second Foreign Language Institute, now known as the Beijing International Studies University, learning Japanese. After working as a research associate at his alma mater, he came to Japan in the spring of 1989. He completed his doctorate degree at the Graduate University for Advanced Studies in Japan. He is currently a professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Shizuoka University, specializing in cultural anthropology. He holds a PhD in literature. For many years now, he has conducted field research in China—the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region—as well as the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Mongolian nomadic society. He has authored many books in Japanese, including, among others, “Bohyo Naki Sogen—Uchimongoru no Bunka Daikakumei: Gyakusatsu no Kiroku (Genocide on the Mongolian Steppe in Inner Mongolia—Oral Histories of the Cultural Revolution)”; “Chugoku to Mongoru no Hazama de—Uranfu no Minoranakatta Minzoku Jiketsu no Yume (Standing between China and Mongolia: Ulanfu’s Unrealized Quest for Ethnic Self-Determination)”; “Jenosaido to Bunka Daikakumei (The Genocide during the Cultural Revolution)”; “Mongoru to Isuramu-teki Chugoku (Mongolia and the Islamic Side of China)”. His Japanese name of Ohno Akira he adopted when he was naturalized as a Japanese citizen corresponds to the Japanese translation of his native Mongolian name.

Japan Study Encouragement Award
Chen Rou-jin (Columnist, former political reporter of United Daily News)

“Nippon Tochi-jidai no Taiwan” ―English translation: “Taiwan under Japanese Rule 1895-1945:An Insight with Photograhs and Episodes”(PHP Institute, 2014)

Recipient’s remarks

Chen Rou-jin

When I was young, I had two goals—to become a government official and (this was rather a dream) to become a calligrapher. But I eventually chose to study law at the College of Law of National Taiwan University and then became a newspaper reporter covering politics. After going this way and that way for a while, I finally decided to focus on the years when Taiwan was under Japanese rule. At the time, I realized I became extremely particular about this theme. Thus far, I have written seven books. What has motivated me to do so is surely the fact that the era of Japanese rule that no doubt greatly influenced Taiwan’s process of modernization was concealed and distorted in the postwar period for political reasons. I have been full of fight to rectify such an unfortunate treatment of the era of Japanese rule.
I have observed the era of Japanese rule from the standpoint of an “ordinary” person. I have done so because such an approach can be effective in understanding and feeling how actually Japanese and Taiwanse people spent and thought about the 50 years of Japanese rule.
My relationship with Japan did not stop there. In addition to the seven books featuring the era of Japanese rule, I have written two oral memoirs of two Taiwanese people with very close connections with Japan. One of them is Mr. Chang Chao-ying who served as the spokesman for the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan. Mr. Chang died in 2007. The other person is Dr. Lo Fu-chen who used to be the chief representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan. I remain wholeheartedly thankful to Mr. Chang and Dr. Lo for their friendship with and confidence in me. I am grateful to the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals for giving me great encouragement even though I know I yet have to do more efforts. I will continue to take a close look at Japan in a sincere manner and with a lot of curiosity. I am looking forward to meeting more people in the years to come.

Recipient’s biography

Born in Yunlin, Taiwan, on June 25, 1964, Chen Rou-jin graduated from the College of Law at National Taiwan Uni-versity and worked as a political reporter at the United Daily News and then at weekly magazine Xinxinwen. Now as a columnist, she is one of Taiwan’s foremost history writers specializing in the history of Taiwan under Japanese rule. She is also one of Taiwan’s leading specialists in oral histories.
She is known for her books including “Zong Tong de Qin Qi” (Relatives of the President) (1999); “Taiwan Xi Fang Wen Ming Chu Ti Yan” (Taiwan’s First Experience with Western Civilization)(2005) with which she won the United Daily News Best Book of the Year and the government-sponsored Golden Butterfly Award; “Xi Shi Taiwan” (Taiwan Weddings) (2007); “Ren Ren Shen Shang Dou Shi Yi Ge Shi Dai” (Every Person Reflects an Era)(2009) with which she won the Golden Butterfly Award—PHP Institute published a Japanese version titled “Nippon Tochi-jidai no Taiwan: Shashin to Episodo de Tsuzuru 1895-1945” (Taiwan under Japanese Colonial Rule 1895-1945: An Insight with Photographs and Episodes); “Jiu Ri Shi Guang” (The Good Old Days)(2012); and “Guang Gao Biao Shi” (A Look at the Modern Life of Taiwan through Advertisements during Japanese Colonial Rule) (2015)
Her oral history books include “Gong Qian Ting Jiu Shi Fan Di/Chang Chao-ying Kou Shu” (Chang Chao-ying, spokesman for the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan, who hails from Taipei’s Gong Qian No. 90) (2006) which was chosen by the China Times as one of the Best 10 Books of the Year—Publishing company Madoka published a Japanese version; and “"Rong Ting Shao Nian Zou Tian Xia"(2013) (whose English version’s title is “From Taiwan to the World and Back: A Memoir of Ambassador Lo Fu-chen—Fujiwara Shoten published a Japanese version titled “Taiwan to Nippon no Hazama wo Ikite: Sekaijin Rafukuzen no kaiso”.

Japan Study Encouragement Award
Robert D. Eldridge(Former Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff (G-5), Marine Corps installations Pacific/Marine Forces Japan)

“The Origins of U.S. Policy in the East China Sea Islands Dispute Okinawa’s Reversion and the Senkaku Islands”(Routledge, 2014)

Recipient’s remarks

Robert D. Eldridge

I am deeply honored to be one of two recipients of this year’s Japan Study Encouragement Award, and wish to express my gratitude to the Board of the Directors of the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals and those involved in nominating, reviewing, and appreciating my research. “The Origins of U.S. Policy in the East China Sea Islands Dispute: Okinawa’s Reversion and the Senkaku Islands” which was published by Routledge in 2014, and appeared in Japanese last year from Nagoya University Press is not originally a book I had planned to write, and was a story that was difficult to tell on many levels. Originally, I had viewed the Senkakus dispute as a Sino (Taiwan)-Japanese issue, but the more I examined the primary documents, the more I realized my own country had been heavily involved in the disposition of the islands at the time of the reversion of Okinawa. The vagueness of the U.S. position and concerns about its commitment is part of the reason, I believe, for the current level of tensions. My book was written to facilitate a better understanding of this history, and while not the intention of the book, clearly demonstrates Japan’s ownership of the islands. I hope the additional information and insights in this book will immediately and directly contribute to peace in the region through the U.S. government’s recognition of its flawed policy and the strengthening of the U.S.-Japan security relationship as it concerns Japanese territory. I would like to thank Miki Shingo of Nagoya University Press and the translators for this book, Yoshida Shingo and Nakajima Takuma, for their outstanding work and cooperation, my wife and children for their constant support and understanding for my unrelenting passion for research and writing, and all of our friends and family who have supported us during this past difficult year.

Recipient’s biography

Born in New Jersey in 1968, Robert D. Eldridge earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from Kobe University in 1999, where his research focused on U.S.-Japan relations, Okinawa military base issues, and Japanese political and diplomatic history. After serving as a research fellow at the Suntory Foundation and Research Institute for Peace and Security, both in Japan, he taught International Public Policy at Osaka University’s School of International Public Policy from 2001 to 2009, with a focus on international security and disaster response. He then joined the U.S. Department of Defense as the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, G-5 (Community Policy, Planning, and Liaison) for Marine Corps Bases Japan, and served in that capacity until 2015. During this time, he served as the political advisor for the forward-deployed command of U.S. Forces Japan after the March 2011 disaster. In addition to writing a weekly column, “Tell It Like It Is,” and a monthly column on world affairs for Sekai Nippō, he is the award-winning author, editor, translator, or contributor to sixty books, including the edited memoirs of Colonel Frank Kowalski entitled “An Inoffensive Rearmament: The Making of the Postwar Japanese Army”(Naval Institute Press, 2013), Megaquake (Potomac, 2015), “The Prime Ministers of Postwar Japan: Their Lives and Times” (Lexington), and the forthcoming “The Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force: The Search for Legitimacy” (Palgrave Macmillan). “His memoirs, Okinawaron (On Okinawa)” , reached No. 1 on the bestsellers list in Japan where it remains since its publication in January. His “Dare ga Okinawa wo Korosu no ka” (What is Going On in Okinawa?) was released by PHP in April, and his edited “Tsugi no Daishinsai ni Sonaeru Tame ni” (Preparing for the Next Major Disaster) was published by Kindai Shobosha in May. He is currently working on a number of books including a book about the return of Okinawa to Japan and another on the contemporary Senkaku Islands problem, and is currently affiliated with several universities, think tanks, and consulting entities, and is the founder in March 2016 of the Oshima Children’s Fund and of the Shorai Foundation Japan in April 2016. A resident of Japan for 26 years, he lives in Okinawa Prefecture with his wife and two school-aged children.