Cultural Identity and Modernization in Asian Countries



Kokugakuin University celebrated the centennial anniversary of its foundation on Nov. 4, 1982. The Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics held an international symposium entitled "Cultural Identity and Modernization in Asian Countries" between Jan. 9 and 13. 1983. This symposium sought to develop a new program out of kokugaku[Glossary: kokugaku] or national learning -- the fundamental spirit in the establishment of Kokugakuin University --, and at the same time increase academic and cultural exchange with other Asian countries.

When our university was founded in 1882, Japan was in the midst of social and cultural change caused by contacts with Western countries. Most Japanese were anxious to modernize the country, so much so that some ignored studies of our traditions and culture. Recently, however, we see more efforts to restore kokugaku in order to reflect on the cultural identity of the nation.

The Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics, which started in 1955 as a research center of our university, aims to contribute to the above purpose, and has produced several fruitful results. We hope that this symposium will enlarge the perspective of the problem of cultural identity in those Asian countries presently confronting modernization. I would like to express my gratitude to all the participants and supporters of this symposium. Their gracious help alone has made it possible to publish these proceedings, as well, of course, to hold a successful symposium.