Japan Institute for National Fundamentals

Speaking out

Hironobu Ishikawa

【#313】2nd Japan Study Awards for Encouraging Steady Efforts

Hironobu Ishikawa / 2015.07.09 (Thu)

July 6, 2015

     The Japan Institute for National Fundamentals has selected the second recipient of the Terada Mari Japan Study Award launched last year.
     Edward Marx, associate professor at Ehime University, has been picked as this year’s Japan Study Award recipient for his work titled "Leonie Gilmour: When East Weds West." In addition, JINF has chosen David Hanlon, professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, as the winner of the Japan Study Encouragement Award for his work titled "Making Micronesia: A political biography of Tosiwo Nakayama." Their works have been selected from more than 40 works recommended by members of the 2nd Japan Study Award Recommendation Committee and other people.

Ehime University Associate Prof. Marx among recipients
     The work by Associate Prof. Marx depicts the life of American woman Leonie Gilmour (1873-1933) who was hidden behind his son and famed sculptor Isamu Noguchi and her husband and famous poet Yonejiro Noguchi, based on massive materials such as letters she sent to and received from her son and daughter, testimonies by related people and documents at museums.
     Leonie Gilmour lived a hard life in Japan where she suffered a betrayal by Yonejiro who hanged out with another woman. She had to live as a single mother of her children in the United States where an anti-Japanese boycott was spreading. But her determination to grow Isamu as an artist remained unshaken, overcoming differences between Japanese and U.S. cultures. Her mental strength might have prevented her from feeling miserable even though being economically disadvantaged. The work introduces her as a woman who was “an artist of motherhood.” In "Making Micronesia," Japan Study Encouragement Award winner Hanlon covers the process in which Nakayama whose father was Japanese unified small islands covering a wide area of the Western Pacific into the independent Federated States of Micronesia and served as the first FSM president for eight years. Nakayama had been conscious of his bond with Japan and considered how to increase the value of his island country against the dominance of the United States. The work could reignite Japanese interests in southern islands.

Casting light on unspectacular research
     Both Mr. Marx and Mr. Hanlon seemed surprised at seeing their unspectacular research works selected for the award and frankly expressed their respective thanks. Particularly, Mr. Marx was pleased to receive the award after a hardship where he worked with voluntary translators. He said he would like to share the $10,000 prize money with the translators. I wish to see the Japan Study Award encouraging low-key international research efforts further.
     JINF rebuts wrong arguments over the interpretation of historical events, national security and diplomatic problems, and values in Japan and other countries through symposiums, opinion advertisements, “Speaking Out” articles and other opportunities. At the same time, JINF is pleased to see overseas researchers who produce research works indicating deep understanding of Japan, even if they are small in number, and renews its determination to continuously honor such researchers with the Japan Study Award.

Hironobu Ishikawa is Planning Committee Member and Secretary General of the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals.