This is the series of annual conferences sponsored, as one of its major activities, by Tôhô Gakkai. Article 4(iii) of its foundation statement had read:
To hold public lectures and informal discussions, inviting prominent scholars, Japanese and foreign.
Out of this from 1956 grew the International Conference of Orientalists in Japan (ICOJ) series, later renamed the International Conference of Eastern Studies (ICES). The original idea was to internationalize Japanese Oriental scholarship, and to make it more widely known outside its own language boundary, by inviting a number of foreign scholars to Japan each year for personal interchange, research, and participation at the Conference. It was the acquaintance goal that was most successfully met. Early meetings were of modest extent, and of less than stellar academic importance. Papers ranged from brief reports of interesting work in progress, giving a glimpse of books that would not appear for another few years, to impressionistic Japanoiserie. Apart from diplomatic and ceremonial observers, the roster for the 5th Conference in 1960 . . .
. . . comprised 57 foreign scholars from 14 countries, plus 42 Japanese scholars. Later ones grew. The 40th anniversary conference in 1996 drew more than 500 participants from 30 countries. The original ICOJ meetings and their ICES continuations were two-day affairs, divided between Tôkyô and Kyôto. This was cut back in 1999 to a one-day session in Tôkyô.
11 June 2004 / Contact The Project / Exit to Sinology Page