Endowed Chair: Japanese Studies
The Ei'ichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Professorship in Japanese Studies
For further information, please contact
Dr. Laura Miller
Professor of Anthropology
A Special Gift
In 1999, Mr. Seigo Arai, businessman and friend of the Shibusawa family, made a generous gift to the University of Missouri-St. Louis to establish the Ei'ichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Professorship in Japanese Studies. The professor strengthens the East Asian program by developing and offering additional courses, conducting research, and by organizing and presenting programs for the community about Japanese culture and society.
Honoring "the Man Who Built Japan's Business Community"
Ei'ichi Shibusawa's life (1840-1931) spanned the most turbulent period in modern Japanese history. Known as "the man who built Japan's business community," Shibusawa introduced the gold standard, created the country's first joint-stock company, established the forerunner of the Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank and founded more than 500 companies. Shibusawa was also a strong supporter of improved U.S.-Japan relations. Not only did he recognize that the two countries had much to learn from each other, he also believed that their future prosperity was dependent on the strength of their relationship. Shibusawa retired at the age of 76, devoting the last 15 years of his life to working on behalf of the less fortunate through a number of philanthropic activities.
Serving Campus and Community
In recognition of the accomplishments of Ei'ichi Shibusawa, International Studies and Programs sought a scholar with expertise in Japanese and international business to serve as the first Ei'ichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Professor in Japanese Studies. Currently, the position is held by Dr. Laura Miller, a Professor of Anthropology, whose research focuses on Japanese culture (especially contemporary Japanese girl's culture, youth sub-cultures, and popular culture), language and gender, and linguistic anthropology. Dr. Miller works with the Japanese-American community and the community at large, to develop programs about Japan and the U.S.-Japan relationship. This includes collaborating with the other international professors to develop a comprehensive international program highlighting the diversity of St. Louis' ethnic heritage. Cooperation with the relevant faculty at UMSL and Washington University in St. Louis to strengthen multi-disciplinary programming about Japan also occurs.
Programs for Campus and Community
The Professorship sponsors speakers and programs on Japanese studies and US-Japan relations. Recent programs include lectures on Japanese robots, the Korean wave in Japan, Japanese aesthetic sense through Zen, and television dramas in Japan.
East Asian Studies Certificate
For undergraduate students, UMSL offers an East Asian Studies Certificate, equivalent to a minor that can be earned in conjunction with a bachelor's degree. Students must complete language study, additional credit hours chosen from various disciplines, and a 3 credit hour independent study. For details, see East Asian Studies Certificate.
Dr. Laura Miller, Professor
Anthropology, Sociology & Languages
University of Missouri-St. Louis
507 Clark Hall
1 University Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63121-4400
Tel: 314-516-7246; Fax: 314-516-7235
Dr. Joel Glassman, Director
International Studies and Programs
Tel: 314-516-5753; Fax: 314-516-6757