JAPAN: Nature and Culture for the Future - Lecture 2

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Lecture 2
Shall We Train-Travel?

Image picture of lecture: Shall We Train-Travel?

Trains have been running in Japan for close to 140 years. Trains are now running all over Japan in countless forms and at different speeds. Trains are vital means of transportation that the country depends on. But, they are much more than that. The Japanese people have written novels and poems about them. They have sung about them. They have given names to them. They have eaten on them. They have vacationed on them. They have built museums for them and preserved them in perfect condition. Steam locomotives, electric locomotives, diesel-cars, sleepers, diners, the Emperor's special cars, etc. In short, they have fallen in love with these precious creatures that not only run but also connect and uplift people's hearts and minds. Among these great trains is the network of the Shinkansen or Bullet Trains, the world's most punctual, frequent, rapidly run, environmentally friendly, and almost accident-free, train system that is the pride of the nation. The Shinkansen is fast and super efficient. But they are also esthetically pretty and sophisticated. As children might say, Shinkansen is awsome. Professor Naoyuki Agawa of Keio University and former Minister for Public Affairs at the Embassy of Japan will entice you to take a ride on the Shinkansen and other Japanese trains of his choice, shedding, perhaps, some light on historical and cultural contexts in which the Japanese train systems and the Japanese people's love for them have developed over the years. All aboard!

Photo of Naoyuki Agawa

Naoyuki AGAWA

Naoyuki Agawa graduated from the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, with magna cum laude in 1977 after transferring from Keio University in 1975. Upon graduation, he joined Sony Corporation in Tokyo, Japan, and worked on international trade and copyright law matters. While at Sony he read law at and graduated from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1984. He joined the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in 1987 and worked for its Washington, D.C. and Tokyo offices through 1995.  He is licensed to practice law in the state of New York and Washington, D.C.
Continuing to practice law with the law firm of Nishimura & Partners in Tokyo, Mr. Agawa joined Keio University as professor at its SFC campus in 1999 teaching American constitutional law and history. He was appointed Minister for Public Affairs at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. in August 2002 and served there until he returned to Keio in April 2005. He was elected and served as Dean of the Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University, between June 2007 and June 2009. He was appointed Vice President in charge of international affairs at Keio in July 2009. Mr. Agawa has also taught U.S. and Japanese constitutional law and history at the University of Virginia School of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Elon University School of Law, Doshisha University and Tokyo University.
Mr. Agawa’s publications include, among others, The Birth of an American Lawyer, To America with de Tocqueville, The Friendship on the Seas: the United States Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Have You Found America?, American History through the United States Constitution, 2520 Massachusetts Avenue.
Mr. Agawa received the Yomiuri-Yoshino Sakuzo Award in 2005. He is a frequent contributor to such newspapers as Sankei, Yomiuri, Nikkei and Mainichi, and journals including Chuo Koron, Bungei Shunnju, and the Japan Journal.


St. Louis, MO

Monday, March 1, 2010   6:30 pm (Reception from 5:30 pm)


Student Government Chamber, Millennium Student Center, 3rd Floor,
University of Missouri-St. Louis


A parking permit is required for ALL visitors to UMSL. To request
your free permit, visit www.cfis-umsl.com and click on REGISTER
or call 1-314-516-7299.

Admission free and open to the public
Chicago, IL

Wednesday, March 3, 2010   12:00 pm


Union League Club of Chicago
65 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL


The Japan America Society of Chicago 
Tel: 1-312-263-3049 (Registration requried.)

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