In Memoriam: Ezra Vogel, 1930–2020

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Director Christina Davis has shared a letter on the passing of Honorary Director Ezra Vogel, and Executive Director Shinju Fujihira has created a Twitter thread with his own reflections.

Remembrances and Tributes

Issei Akahori (2016–17)

I am very surprised to hear of the sudden death of Professor Vogel.

Please accept my sincere condolences.

The first edition of Professor Vogel's book "Japan as Number One" led me to study at Harvard University. My father gave me the book when I graduated the university and joined Keidanren.
By studying at “Vogel-Juku”, I was able to deepen my understanding of Japan-U.S. relations. I was greatly inspired by his remarks.

Last summer, my wife and I visited Professor Vogel's house and took commemorative photos. It is impressive that he showed interest in the Japanese political situation.

May his soul rest in peace.

Alexis Dudden (2005–⁠06)

Just a brief comment in Ez's honor that I'm taking from the review of his recent book I did for the TLS:

Vogel explains that it is as a “friend of Japan” and a “friend of China” that he hopes to help both. He is one of the few thinkers alive with sufficient traction to speak equally with leaders in both countries as well as people on the street (I have witnessed a crowd of Japanese people literally sitting at his feet in the aisle of an airplane listening to his thoughts about their society’s best course forward). He is also humble, publishing this book in English as middle ground with the express hope that it will be translated into both Chinese and Japanese.

What a loss, yet what a life well-lived.

Kenji Eda (1987–88)

ボーゲル先生。

戦後日本の奇跡の復興に焦点をあて、名著「ジャパン・アズ・ナンバーワン」では、その日本型システムを分かりやすく分析された。日本株式会社の司令塔としての、私の元母屋、通産省の果たした役割も過大と思えるほど評価されている。

日本語を流ちょうに話され、気さくに議論の相手もしていただいた。日米の架け橋。享年90。心からご冥福をお祈り申し上げます。

Margarita Estévez-Abe (1998–99, 2000–01)

I used to be Ezra's teaching assistant for his core course on Industrial East Asia. I learned so much from his lectures and his weekly meetings for teaching assistants. These meetings were the best. We would all gather in his house and it felt like an intimate seminar. Very few people know East Asia as well as he did. He was not only a great scholar but was also a very kind and welcoming man. It was a joy to work for him. He will be greatly missed. May he rest in peace. Thank you, Ezra.

Taiji Furusawa (2010–⁠12)

Dear Vogel sensei:

It was my great honor to participate in the Vogel Juku in 2010-2011.  I deeply respected you in your willingness to give your precious time to our once-a-month discussions about Japan's international relations with the U.S., Asian countries, and the rest of the world.  We learned a lot from the discussions and from your comments, with pizzas and beer at your home.  Strangely, though, I do not remember much about what we discussed and what your comments are.  But I do remember very well that you taught us how to pronounce "L" in English.  You told us that we extend the lip further toward the teeth almost up to where it is sticking out from the teeth.  I remember just like yesterday the face of you, with your tongue showing between the teeth, when pronouncing "L".  You were always kind to us and smiled to us, but at the same time never failed to give critical comments when necessary.  I admire you in all respects.  Thank you very much for your continuous engagement in Japan and other Asian countries.  You will continue to live forever in our minds.

Thank you very much.

Kumiko Haba (2011–⁠12)

Dear Professor Ezra Vogel,

It was my deepest surprise, and I am deeply sunk in the depths of sorrow to hear that Professor Ezra Vogel passed away. We would like to express our heartfelt condolences from Japan, and from all over the world.

While at Harvard, Ezra kindly invited me to his house many times and was able to talk to him personally. He loved and taught everyone indiscriminately and valued raising young scholars in particular.

I have always learned a lot from his great books and his life- and work- style itself that used many materials of Japanese and Chinese and considered profoundly and sharply the situation of the international society, especially East Asian historical conflicts in the 21st century. I wanted to learn much more from genius Ezra’s thought on China, Japan, historical reconciliation among Japan-China-Korea and the development of East Asia, and the profound relationship among Japan, China and the United States.

I would like to pray for the peace of his soul from the bottom of my heart. If there is any gathering for him, I would like to fly to go to Harvard as soon as possible, or I would like to do anything which I could. I still cannot believe that you had passed away. I pray for your soul from the bottom of my heart.

Keisuke Iida (2018–⁠19)

Like everyone else in my generation, I got to know about Ezra Vogel by reading his book, Japan as No. 1. I also met him several times in seminars while I was a student at Harvard, but it was not until 2018 when I joined the Vogel-juku that I really got to know him well. The Vogel-juku was meant for the younger generation, to which I no longer belong, but he welcomed me with open arms. 

Japanese students were not used to the freewheeling discussion style of the juku, and there were a few moments of awkward silence each time, and it was always my self-appointed role to break the ice. But at one time, I thought I should keep quiet to let the other people speak more. So after the session was over, I told Ezra that I tried to keep quiet for that reason, and he said I didn’t have to. He genuinely loved lively and candid discussions, and it didn’t matter to him who was saying what, as long as everyone was intellectually engaged, actively or passively.

Ezra had an extraordinary degree of intellectual curiosity and vigor. He was still writing his book on Sino-Japanese relations in 2018, and he talked about it so many times as if he was talking about his own child. He loved Japan and Japanese people, and he was gravely concerned about the future of Sino-Japanese relations. He will be sincerely missed in Japan and all around the world. 

Takashi Inoguchi (Distinguished Visitor 1997–98)

I was astounded at the news of Prof. Ezra Vogel's sudden passing away. My deep sorrow and grief. We have lost one of the very few scholars so fluent in local languages with solid understanding of emotions subtly laid bare and arguments inadvertently expressed. His last magnum opus on China and Japan will be widely read by Americans, Chinese and Japanese alike, I sincerely hope.

Please convey my profound grief to your friends and colleagues, from someone who attended the Reischauer graduate seminar course along with Kent Calder in early 1970s and who is most grateful for the late Prof Ezra Vogel to give me nice words to The Sage Handbook of Asian Foreign Policy, 2 vols., London: Sage Publications, 2019 as well as to Digitized Statecraft in Multilateral Treaty Participation: Global Quasi-Legislative Behavior of 193 Sovereign States, Singapore: Springer Nature, forthcoming in February 2021. 

Rintaro Iwasaki (2010–11)

私は2009年から2011年まで、2年間ボーゲル塾で先生にお世話になりました。特に2010-2011は、幹事として大変貴重な経験をさせていただきました。

当時は、日本が中国にGDPで抜かれ、中国の脅威と日本の地位の低下を強く感じるようになった時期で、よくボーゲル塾でも議論をしていました。

そのような中でも、ボーゲル先生は日本人の私達を温かく見守り、多くの金言を下さいました。
ボストンでの2年間は、自分や日本の小ささと、世界の大きさを学ばせてくれました。

あれから約10年経ち、まだまだボーゲル先生が期待してくれた成果を出せているとは思えません。天国で見守って下さっている先生のためにも、より一層日本や世界のために貢献していきたいと思います。ボーゲル先生のご冥福をお祈り申し上げます。

Junko Kato (1996–⁠97; Distinguished Visitor 2018–⁠19)

Since I first came to know his name as the author of Japan as Number One, in my mind, Professor Ezra Vogel has been a critical symbol of Japanese studies in the United States.  After I came to know him in person, I was deeply impressed with his natural talent for understanding cultures and societies that are very different from his native one. He never armed himself to tackle subjects and problems, but just accepted and translated them into his own language for explanation. This has continued throughout his academic career and was embodied in his contribution as a commentator for the online seminar of the US-Japan Program last November, in which I was lucky enough to have seen him virtually. I still fail to comprehend fully that he was passed away. This feeling, although unrealistic, may have meaning, because his presence and attitude have been and will be part of the scholarly foundation of Japanese and Asian studies.

Kiyoshi Kawai (2003–04)

元警察庁、現在、第一生命保険株式会社公法人部顧問をしております河合潔です。

渡米直前の2003年6月まで、日本メキシコ経済連携協定交渉の政府側共同代表(経済産業省)の一人として、仕事をしていたわりには、英語があまりできない中、研究員となりました。留学しての日米関係プログラムでの研究テーマは、
元の出身官庁の警察庁の関係で、APIS(Advance Passengers Information System)で、ほかにも渡米しての関心は、日本が当時治安状況が悪化の一途をたどっていたことに鑑み、ニューヨークの治安改善の政策についてNYPDに取材したり、ケネディスクールで、テロリズムの講義をとったり、デビッドケネディ氏の講義をとったり、レポートを書いてみてもらったり、と語学ができない割には、忙しい毎日を送っておりました。その中、ボーゲル塾の案内を頂きました。

1年目、ケネディスクールにいて、2年目に日米関係プログラムに入られた自衛隊の高橋さんの御紹介があったように記憶しております。シニアの先輩として、自衛隊OBの鈴木通彦さんが、ボーゲルさんと親しくお話されておられました。当時は、ケネディスクールの留学生は少なくて、日米関係プログラムの研究員が圧倒的に多く、といっても、
もともと人数は少ないですから、分科会をつくるというより、先生から、研究するテーマや研究対象の人物を指定されて、報告し、論稿をまとめるという方法で、密な感じでした。こじんまりとしながらも、出身官庁、出身企業も色々で、年代もシニア、中堅、若手と幅広く、自由に議論させてもらい、要所要所でボーゲル先生にリードしてもらう、理想的な会だったように思います。私は、行政改革関連で土光敏夫氏を担当することになり、最初の短いレポートをまとめてボーゲル塾で報告することまで行ったのですが、その後の論稿のまとめまでは、手が回りませんでした。

土光敏夫氏に関し、色々調査する過程で、同じ行革関連なら瀬島龍三氏が興味をそそられ、土光敏夫氏に代えて、瀬島氏を研究対象としたいと申し出たのですが、先生からは、研究するならば土光氏とすることと示されました。瀬島氏の多面性を考えると、当時の自分ではとても手に負えないということは現在は理解できるのですが、土光さんだと既にまとまった書籍が発行されており、今更と思ったのでした。ボーゲル塾での勉強では、大来佐武郎氏の話、環太平洋構想の話と、私自身が、日メキシコ経済連携協定交渉当事者であったにかかわらず、日本の位置付けを知らなかったことを思い知らされました。

さらに、ボーゲル塾として、ワシントンのNHK手嶋龍一氏に会いに行き、両岸問題など、勉強できました。その後の2019年までの国家公務員としての勤務にとっても、有意義なものになる契機をいただいたものと思います。
本当にありがとうございました。

Shinichi Kitaoka (President, JICA)

I am writing to express my deepest condolences on behalf of all management and staff of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) following the passing of Dr. Ezra Vogel last month.  

Dr. Vogel was greatly admired within JICA for his extraordinary analytical insights and masterful scholarly contributions to the understanding of East Asian societies.  The multi-disciplinary manner in which he carried out his life’s work is a testament both to his unparalleled intellect and inquisitive character.  Undoubtedly, those of us who are dedicated to the same cause of promoting cross-cultural connections were thoroughly enriched by-and remain deeply indebted to―the sturdy foundation of knowledge Dr. Vogel assiduously imparted over the course of his illustrious career.  I would also like to express my special appreciation for his generous dedication to help Japanese graduate students, including young JICA staff members, who were inspired by the advice and guidance he gave them at his home in Cambridge.  

I personally had numerous opportunities to meet and chat with Dr. Vogel.  In particular, I will never forget the time when he came to Honolulu, Hawaii, all the way from Boston to introduce me as a keynote speaker at the international conference organized by the American Association for Asian Studies in March 2011.  In addition, it was a truly unforgettable time when we visited the 'Sanriku ' coastal area in northeast Japan together about one year after the city had been devastated by the Great East Earthquake and Tsunami.  I remember that we made this visit by bus, even though Dr. Vogel had severe back pain. These precious memories with Dr. Vogel will remain in my heart forever. 

It goes without saying that Dr. Vogel will be sorely missed; may his soul rest in eternal peace. 

Please extend our heartfelt sympathies to Dr. Vogel’s family, colleagues, and friends during this period of mourning and somber reflection. 

Akio Koike (2008–09)

 日米関係プログラム2008年OB(東京電力HD企画室・安全推進室)の小池です。

 幽冥境を異にして、太平洋よりも遙かに遠く、永遠の世界に旅立たれた先生に、
謹んで哀悼の言葉を捧げます。 

 本プログラム参加を志した当時の私は、地球温暖化問題への包括的視野を得る
ため、行政大学院、MITなどや諸機関の専門家との意見交換に熱中していました。

 そんなある日、「小池さんは、どうして僕の塾に来てくれないの?」と先生か
ら声を掛けていただき、思わず、

 「米国に来た以上、ここでしか出来ないことにチャレンジしています」

 「そうですか・・・」

しょんぼり肩をすぼめた先生の表情が、今もまぶたに残ります。姿を余り見かけ
ない私への気遣いとも知らず、胸を張った自分の浅慮を今も戒めにしています。

 半世紀以上前、まったく環境・風習の異なる日本の市井の奧に潜り、比較文化
研究で苦労された中で無数の市民から受けた恩を、今度はボストンに飛び込んで
きた日本の後進に、何百倍にしてお返しされようとしているに。

 結局、仕事も研究も、その成果に価値があるのではなく、そのプロセスで関わ
るあらゆる「人」との出会いや関わりこそが、かけがえない「宝物」であること
に、ようやく気づける年齢になりました。

 プログラム設立以来、30年間、多くの社員をお迎えいただいた東京電力が、
原子力事故を起こしてしまいました。福島復興、廃炉など、永く果たすべき責任
を完遂し、今度は虚勢でなく、晴れ晴れと胸を張り、再び先生にお目にかかる日
を夢見てまいりましたが、それも叶わぬこととなりました。

  人々の命とくらしを何よりも大切にし、科学技術を扱う人間の油断慢心に警鐘
を鳴らし続けるため、原子力事故の教訓を永遠に継承する教育施設
"TEPCO Center to Promote the Culture for Safety Based on Lessons from 3.11" 
の整備を志し、このほど完成の日を迎えました。私の残る情熱は、すべてこちら
に注ぎ込んでまいります。

 「自ら顧みてなおくんば、千万人ともいえども我行かん」

 残念ですが、お別れを言わなければなりません。これからも、どうぞ私どもを
温かくお見守り下さい。後に残された私たちは、先生の志を継ぎ、弛まず前に進
むことを、先生の御霊に捧げる誓いの言葉といたします。有り難うございました。

Yukinori Komine (2010–⁠11)

My Condolences and Gratitude to Vogel sensei,

I am deeply shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Professor Ezra F. Vogel. Simultaneously, I am profoundly grateful for Vogel sensei’s teachings and for his inspiring work in the field of U.S.-East Asian relations, especially his emphasis on the importance of taking long-term perspectives and having the courage to engage in comprehensive projects over the course of many years. Having been inspired by him, I am determined to continue to carry on Vogel sensei’s spirit, by committing to my own professional and personal responsibilities and making contributions to the cultivation of mutual understanding and inclusiveness among peoples in the Pacific community. Arigatougozaimasu, Vogel sensei. It has been my life-time honor to be in your presence.

Yoshihisa Masaki (2005–06)

"Japan as Number One" showed that the United States should humbly learn Japan, and "China and Japan: Facing History" showed the history of Japan learning from China and China learning from Japan.
 
Above all, Professor Vogel himself was a person who always respected the other person and showed an attitude of humbly learning from the other person.
 
I was deeply impressed by the way of life in which even young students were treated asking for teaching.
I want to get closer to the “Vogel sensei's way of life”.
 
May you rest in peace.

Yukio Matsuyama (1991–92)

「私ほど、ボーゲルさんと密度の濃い関係を持った日本人はいないだろう」と自負している人は、東京だけで何十人もいるのではないか。私もその一人だが、私の場合は以下述べるような四つの点で、普通の人とはかなり違う特殊な関係だったように思う。

第一 知り合う前に、お互い相手の書いたものをじっくり読み、考え方に共鳴していた。

第二 初対面の際、二人とも1930年の午年(うまどし)生まれということがわかり、「だからウマが合うのですね」というのは冗談だとしても、とにかく「同時代史」を共有しているお蔭で、「事件」でも「人物」でも、話はいつもツーカーだった。

第三 私が八年間つとめた朝日新聞論説主幹を辞めることに内定した日、たまたま所用で麻布の国際文化会館に行ったら、ロビーで旧知のボーゲルさんにばったり。「お久しぶり。お変わりありませんか?」「実はいま朝日を辞めることにしてきたところです」「これからどうします?」「まだ決まっていません」「それならハーバードに来ませんか?」ということで、私の第二の人生がバタバタと決まってしまった。

第四 ボーゲルさんの日本関係の最新作『ジャパンアズナンバーワン?それからどうなった』の序文を頼まれ、5ページほど書いたところ、数か月して今度は彼が私の新作『頑張れ日本』の「帯」に、彼が最高級の賛辞に満ちた宣伝文を書いてくれた。「これで貸し借りなしのチャラですね」とボーゲルさんは笑っていたが、二人の交友では私の方が収支大幅な“黒字”だった。(なおこの時の著作は両方ともまるで売れなかった。推薦者のせい?)

学問的業績や日米相互理解上の貢献、語学力のすばらしさなどについては、直系のお弟子さんたちの追悼文にお任せするとして、私が身をもって教わったのは「気さくさ」の大切さ、だった。日本では学者に限らず、偉くなるにしたがって、重々しく、気難しく振る舞いがちの人が多いが、ボーゲルさんは、だれにも――著名人に対しても、ハーバードのUS-Japan programの新人に対しても――気さくに、誠実に対応していた。

ごく最近も私に「貴方はその昔石橋湛山首相の番記者をやっていましたね。いま東京にいて石橋湛山を研究している私の一番弟子が貴方の話を聴きたいと言っているので、会ってやってほしい」というメールを寄越したばかりだ。後輩の面倒見の良さ、という点では、死の直前までバリバリの現役だった。「卒寿」というのは、私にとっては「もう十分生きすぎた」という年齢だが、彼にとっては「まだまだこれからだ」という印象が強い。

なぜ天は彼に「日本語でも中国語でも大学で講義できる」という才能を付与しながら、「長寿」という最も大事な資質を与えてくれなかったのか――と嘆きは尽きないが、いつまでも天を恨んで落ち込んでいるのはボーゲルさんの好むところではないはず。今は気を取り直し、こういう素晴らしい「気さくな碩学」と親しくなれた幸運に感謝し、少しでもその衣鉢を継ぐよう努力するのが、彼の好意に報いることになると考えることにしている。

Toshiaki Miura (2009–10)

A brief note on Professor Ezra Vogel

One of the greatest pleasures of a journalist is to have interviews with prominent scholars, and I have been very fortunate to meet Professor Vogel on several occasions for the Asahi Shimbun.  His sharp intellect, deep understanding of history, balanced views on Sino-Japanese relations would be so much more valuable in this age of accelerating antagonism among nations.  He has been a beacon for those who seek reconciliation in history issues. I hope we could continue to challenge this difficult task that he has carried so far.

Michael Nacht (1982–⁠83)

I have received notice of the passing of Ezra Vogel from the Harvard Program on US-Japan Relations.

I was very surprised and did not know he had been ill.

Back in 1980 I was a junior faculty member at the Harvard Kennedy School, working in part on East Asian security.

Professor Vogel planned to spend a sabbatical in Japan and he asked if I would serve as the Program’s Acting Director in his place.

It was a wonderful experience in every respect and I am forever grateful for the opportunity he gave me.

Ezra Vogel was a truly amazing scholar, author of numerous pathbreaking works, an exceptional human being, and someone from whom one would learn at every interaction.

A fabulous person of great intellect and tremendous humility, the Harvard East Asian community and countless readers throughout China, Japan and the western world should be justifiably proud of who and what he was.

Again, my deepest condolences at his passing.

Masahiro Nakagawa (2015–⁠16)

I got a wonderful chance to escort him to his home and enjoy talk with him personally. He talked to me about his academic life in 30 minutes. “I started learning Japanese at 29 years old and Chinese at 31. I put my family to a lot of trouble.” I said, “Your children and grandchildren followed your style and it has been a great treasure for them.” He replied with warm-hearted smile, “my grandson is learning Arabic now.”  I myself learned the joy and strictness of the study from his word and it has been my precious lesson.

I express my deepest condolences for him.

[日本語訳]
2016年5月のボーゲル塾の卒業式の後、私は先生をご自宅までお送りしました。
30分間、先生はこれまでの研究生活の楽しかったこと、苦しかったことを話してくださいました。特に印象に残っているのは、次の言葉です。「日本語は29歳から始めました。中国語は31歳から。家族には迷惑をかけました。」
私が、「お子さん、お孫さんは、先生の背中を見て育たれたんですね。」と話しますと、先生は「孫は、今、アラビア語を勉強しています」と相好を崩して話されました。
研究生活の厳しさと喜びを教えていただいたことが私にとっての財産です。
 
謹んでご冥福をお祈り申し上げます。

Ellie Okada (2009–10)

I am writing this message in profound sorrow at Professor Ezra F. Vogel’s passing away.  

When I stayed at Harvard as an academic associate (visiting scholar), Professor Vogel was quite impressive, providing critical and constructive opinions at seminars.  

His famous book, Japan, as Number One, may have misled many regarding his underlying assumptions.  According to Professor Vogel and some commentator, what he said is Japan AS Number One, not IS Number One.   

He also raised awareness about a unique geopolitical position Japan used to have in the cold war period, which suggests future directions Japan should embrace.   

Beyond the academic logic, many accepted his words on International Affairs that surround Japan as parental words.     
When I presented at the Vogel-juku roughly ten years ago, he suggested having a more optimistic interpretation of results. It’s a pity that he passed away when my feelings finally were transformed to be positive. 

Professor Vogel’s soul will live forever with the Programs he founded at Harvard University.  May peace to his family, the United States, Japan and, the world. 

Naoya Okada (2018–⁠19)

I was with Professor Vogel at the "Vogel Juku".

The phrase "draw a big picture" that Professor Vogel used to say still sometimes comes to mind.
I would like to express my deepest condolences.

Yasushi Oshima (2009–10)

ヴォーゲル塾での温かいお言葉、そして引き込まれるような笑顔、大変印象に残ってお
ります。

研究者でもない、若くもない、どちらかといえば場違いな私に対しても、気さくにご対
応いただき、慣れない環境の中、励まされました。
本当にありがとうございました。

Sadamasa Oue (1997–⁠98; 2019–⁠21)

I can’t believe, as all of you can’t, that Vogel-sensei so suddenly passed away. I am sincerely grateful for his dedications to support Japan and Japanese students and researchers. It was in 1997 when I first met with Ezra as an associate of U.S.-Japan Program. And July last year, I came back to Cambridge as a fellow at the Asia Center, of which Ezra was the first director. In fact, my position there was established by him in 1999 to accommodate Akiyama-san, retired administrative vice minister of JDA. Following Mr. Akiyama, generals and admirals succeeded his position and I am the 12th fellow. Therefore, I am able to be here literally thanks to Vogel-sensei. On behalf of all my predecessors, I express wholehearted appreciation to him.

I have so many memories with Ezra that I would like to introduce you two of them. As soon as I came back to Harvard July last year, I sent Email to Ezra and he invited me to have a lunch with him at the Faculty Club. It was a buffet style lunch. Ezra ate a lot more than I did. He asked me more questions than I did to him. I was amazed by his insatiable appetite and curiosity, understanding that’s the magic of his longevity and vitality. He asked me how I see Koizumi Shinichiro and Kono Taro for whom Vogel sensei rooted. I asked him who the Democrat candidate will be and he answered Joe Biden and possibly with vice president Kamara Harris. He gladly told me that he and Professor Graham Alison will jointly develop a policy paper for the new President regarding how to manage U.S.-China relationship. It was 17 months ago.

After I tentatively went back to Tokyo in March, I was involved with COVID-19 task force organized by Funabashi Yoichi, director of API, which published Investigating Report based on this task force experience. Then, we happened to come across Vogel’s book, Four Little Dragon, which analyzes success of Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore for their industrialization. Coincidently, these fours are also good to contain Covid-19 and Ezra’s observation gave us very useful insight and perspectives to cope with new virus. He didn’t know this episode, because I thought I would have had a chance to see him as we promised to meet again. I really missed him.

Vogel-sensei was loved by everybody, because he loved everybody. His son, Steven said, his father had the irrepressible ability to see the good in every person and every nation. I fully agree.

I believe Vogel-sensei is interviewing Deng Xiaoping, Tanaka Kakuei, Richard Nixon and many more who made history.

So, I express my heartfelt appreciation to Vogel-sensei and wish him rest in peace.

Hisashi Owada (1980–81; Distinguished Visitor 1988–89)

As a longtime friend of mine for 40  years, Ezra has truly  been my comrade-in-arms, working together, among other things, for the creation of the Program on US-Japan Relations in 1979-1980, which, as we noted in its 40 year anniversary celebration in January this year in Tokyo, has come to grow and thrive beyond our expectations.

Thorough this process Ezra’s wise counsel and contribution has been indispensable. While we were physically separated between different continents, whenever we  had an opportunity to be with each other together, whether in Tokyo (at the I-House where he used to stay) or in Boston (at the residence of the Consul -General of Japan) , Ezra and I always had the habit of seeing each other over dinner or even over the breakfast. Indeed, at this sad news, I feel like having lost my closest brother.

I do not know what to say at this juncture, except to ask you to convey my deepest condolences to his bereaved members of family and to all of you so closely attached to him at the US-Japan Program. 

Mizue (Miko) Oyama (2007–2009)

With much sadness, Professor Ezra F. Vogel, you were one of the most respected & historical scholars as well as my wonderful mentor. You were so sweet and kind with big smile as always,  and inspiring & giving me confidence in myself. I am very grateful for your guidance and friendship. I really miss you, but may your soul rest in peace

Kim Reimann (2001⁠–02)

Ezra Vogel was a towering figure in the field of Asian studies, but he was so much more than that - he was a kind mentor and friend to thousands of people. And I don't think I'm wildly exaggerating when I say thousands. So many people have an Ezra story - one in which he made them feel valid, important and worthy of his time. He always seemed genuinely interested in what you were doing and remembered many details about you. The rolodex in his brain was unbelievable.

I have quite a few memories of Ezra, but the most vivid ones date to the period when I worked with him at Harvard in the early 1990s. I was a graduate student in the Regional Studies- East Asia MA program at Harvard and was not sure what I wanted to do after graduating - whether to stay in academia or to look for a job in the business, government or nonprofit world. Ezra hired me as a teaching fellow in my second semester at Harvard for his large lecture course Industrial East Asia, which had a lot of discussion sections run by graduate students. He was very accessible and cared about how we were doing as instructors. We had weekly lunch meetings in his home to discuss content and teaching techniques, and the experience was so positive that I started to consider an academic career by the end of that semester. While it was just one influence, this experience was a very important one that inspired my decision to apply to PhD programs and become a professor. (As a side note: one of the popular courses that I teach to this very day at Georgia State University is modeled on Ezra's Industrial East Asia course.)

RIP Ezra. You'll be missed by so many people. You were a truly remarkable person.

Noriyuki Shikata (2019–⁠20)

As a graduate student at Harvard in 1987-89, I took his class on Japanese Business and Society co-taught by Prof. Ronald Dore. It was an extremely insightful class on the modern Japanese society. 

Immediately after I returned to Harvard in August 2019, we talked over an hour at his home on the current and future Japan-China & US-China relations, since I had been posted in Beijing just before my arrival in Boston. Prof. Vogel was always kind and generous to others, and curious about Japan and China. He was such a wonderful  mentor, teacher, scholar, and professor. He shall be missed.

Koji Sonoda (2015–16)

ボーゲル先生のご逝去に心から哀悼の意を表します。

ボーゲル先生には、私が日米プログラム在籍中、大変にお世話になりました。先生は学会における知の巨人として優れた功績をもたれているだけではなく、私たち若い人々に対しても、決して偉ぶる様子を微塵も見せず、慈愛のまなざしをもって常に真摯な態度で接していらっしゃった姿が瞼に焼きついております。先生は日本の右傾化について心から心配しておられ、とくに私が新聞社から派遣されたこともあり、先生は健全な民主主義社会にとっての新聞メディアの重要性を常に説かれておりました。私たちの任期が終わり、米国を去る直前、先生と日中戦争や満州帝国についてご意見を交わさせていただいたことを生涯忘れることはありません。私が再びワシントンで勤務することになり、近くお会いしましょうとメールを交わしてお約束したにもかかわらず、そのうち新型コロナの問題が起きてボストンを訪れることができなくなり、先生にお会いすることができなかったことが断腸の思いであります。

先生の教えを決して忘れることはありません。安らかにお休み下さい。

 

My deepest condolences on the passing of Professor Vogel.

As a member of the US-Japan relations program at Harvard, I am grateful to have known Professor Vogel. Professor Vogel was not only a great intellectual figure with outstanding academic achievement, but also my mentor who always treated me generously with his kindness.

To this day, I still remember our conversation about the media's role to defend democracy. He was seriously concerned that Japan was becoming increasingly right-leaning and he stressed how critical my job was.

He was kind enough to stay in touch with me after my completion of the program. I wish I could have kept my promise to visit him in Boston but unfortunately COVID prevented me from doing so.

I will never forget the path he showed me. May he rest in peace.

Kimitoshi Sugiyama (2011–⁠12)

航空自衛隊の杉山公俊です。2010年から2012年までボーゲル塾でお世話になりました。

ハーバード大学近くのボーゲル先生のご自宅でピザやお寿司をご馳走になり、各界の素晴らしい方々と天下国家について議論できたことは生涯の宝物です。

このような機会を提供して頂いたエズラ・ボーゲル先生には本当にどれだけ感謝してもしきれませんが、生涯をかけて少しでも何らかのご恩返しをしていきたいと思います。

私にとって最も印象に残る思い出は、2011年3月10日の夜(米国時間)のボーゲル塾から帰宅した直後に東日本大震災が発生したことです。

当時ボーゲル塾で唯一の現役自衛官として一早く未曾有の大災害であると認識した私は、意を決してメーリングリストの全員宛に情報共有のメールを送りました。

ボーゲル塾に集まる人々のネットワークは凄まじく、翌日にはハーバード、MIT、タフツ、ボストンの4大学の日本人留学生を中心とするアクション4ジャパンという組織が立ち上がり急速に活動内容や人員が拡大していきました。

また、翌2012年は、奇しくもワシントンDCに日本の桜が植樹されてから100周年ということもあり復興支援を兼ねた記念植樹には多数の人々からの賛同が集まり、ハーバード・ロースクールの庭に6本の桜を植樹した上で多額の支援金を被災地へ送ることもできました。

これらの経験は、危機に際して一致団結する日本人の底力と、ボーゲル先生を核とする人脈の素晴らしさを実感するものでした。

ボーゲル先生のkeep broader perspectiveそれに think about big issueという教えが強く心に残っています。ボーゲル先生、本当にありがとうございました。

Yoichi Suzuki (Former Ambassador)

First, let me join others in offering my sympathy to all those who were close to Ezra. He is indeed very much missed.

I was Japanese Consul General in Boston for three years from beginning of 2006 to the end of 2008. That was how I got to know Ezra in person. I was fortunate to be able to keep in touch with him after I left Boston. Ezra was generous to spend time with me in various ways during my stint in Boston.

I want to touch on two pieces of my memory  of my many exchanges with Ezra.

First. My stint coincided with a rather difficult moment in the Japan China relationship particularly due to differences in   historic interpretation of our recent past. I was fortunate to share one on one lunches in quiet corners of Cambridge to learn from his insights. I reported my conversation with him in diplomatic cables and sent them to Tokyo Headquarters. It is a joy professionally for diplomats when the cables you sent are widely read back home. Reports based on my conversations with him were such ones. He advised my Government through me;  why don’t you adopt a long term strategic view on what is good for Japan instead of resorting to short term action to reaction type of approach.

Second. Ezra offered me candid and shrewd observations on the Japanese political leaders from the then young generation, in quiet ways who he thought would serve Japan well. It was of great interest to me. But I did not send cables on them. Japan was fortunate to benefit from the presence and advices of an observer on Japanese politics like him who not only knew Japan well but also looked at it with compassionate eyes.

Masaru Tachibana (1991–92)

ボーゲル先生は「ジャパン アズ ナンバーワン」の著者として余りに高名でしたので、大変遠い存在だと思っていました。

しかし、US-Japanプログラムでの活動が始まって間もなく、先生から声をかけていただき、ファカルティークラブでお目にかかることになりました。

政治記者だった小生から、日本政治の現況について何かヒアリングしておこうと思われたのかもしれません。まず驚かされたのは、情報の早さ。そのころ発足したばかりの盟友関係、YKKについてどう思いますか、と尋ねられ、ごく常識的に中心人物の加藤紘一氏には大いにチャンスがあると答えたのでした。

しかし、先生は小泉純一郎氏に強い関心を示されました。政治的なシンの強さに興味があると。余り気に留めず、軽く受け流してしまいましたが、後々の展開を考えるまでもなく、先生の慧眼に思いを新たにせざるを得ません。

また小生が東大社会学科の出身だと分かると、先生の初めての日本留学時代に、当時、社会学科の助手だった富永健一教授から、タルコット・パーソンズの著作についてこれはどういう意味か、ここはどう解釈すればいいかと幾度となく質問されましたよ、と思い出話をされました。富永教授の授業では、パーソンズの原書購読で苦しめられた記憶が鮮明だっただけに、意外なエピソードとして忘れられません。

US-Japanプログラム在籍中、日本では宮沢喜一内閣が発足しました。宮沢首相の首席秘書官に就任すべく、甥の宮沢洋一さん(現参院議員)がニューヨーク総領事館勤務から帰国途中、かつて留学したハーバードに立ち寄ることになり、先生が洋一さんの激励ディナーを小人数で催しました。洋一さんは今でも、橘さんと初めて会ったのはあの時だったよね、と懐かしそうに話されます。

先生が来日された折、わざわざ新聞社まで訪ねて来られたことがありました。日米安保の話の途中、先生から、ところで橘さんの近親者で日米戦争で亡くなった方はいますか、と。父親の弟と母親の兄が戦死しましたと申し上げ、日米同盟の緊密化の意味をじわりと身に引き寄せて思いをいたすことになりました。

先生との会話の一つひとつが懐かしく蘇り、思い出は尽きません。先生の広く奥行きのある知識と見識と、どこまでも広がる好奇心、まただれにも分け隔てなく、優しく、思いやり溢れる語りぶりはいつまでも忘れないでしょう。

Masato Tainaka (2012–⁠13)

(Original post with photos available on blog)

ハーバード留学中に、個人ブログで、ボーゲル先生について書いていました。
よろしかったら、ご活用くださいませ。

ハーバードの日本・中国研究の第一人者エズラ・ボーゲル先生が2日、年頭の特別講話をしてくださいました。氷点下のボストンにこもって越冬中の哀れな(?)日本人研究者10人が集まりました。

1958年に日本に留学して千葉県の一般家庭6件の訪問による定点観測研究をはじめ、毎年日本を訪れて政界・官庁・経済界との交流を重ねて書き上げた1979年の著書「ジャパン・アズ・ナンバーワン」はベストセラーに。出版社のTBSブリタニカの宣伝が上手だったそうで、出版後1カ月間、ボーゲル先生は日本全国を行脚して書店でのサイン会、地元新聞のインタビュー、テレビ出演などを次々とこなしたそうです。

本のサブタイトルは「レッスンズ・フォー・アメリカ」。急速な経済成長を遂げた日本からアメリカが学ぶべきだとの主張だったそうですが、当時の「傲慢な」米国内での受け止め方は、「あの人は長年外国暮らしをして、おかしくなったのだ」。

当時、僕は小学生でしたが、本のタイトルだけはなんとなく記憶に残っています。ボーゲル先生によると、「いまの日本の若い人はこの本のことを知らないが、年取った人は思い出す。ああ、いい時期だったなあ、と」。

僕も、おじさんということですなあ。

話題は、日本と中国の関係に移り、
「尖閣問題は単なる資源問題ではない。非常に心配している。天安門事件後、中国では愛国教育が始まり、その宣伝として日本が効果的に使われた。アヘン戦争以来、中国は弱かったので、ひどいめにあってきたけど、今は強いんだぞ、と」。

「とはいえ、日本社会は、まだまだかなり強い。犯罪は少ないし、住みやすいし、、、」

最近のワシントンポスト紙への寄稿でも、こうした日本へのエールを送られています。
ご関心のある方は、こちらをご覧ください。)

Shigeru Tsuburaya (1995–⁠96)

ヴォ―ゲル先生は、95年-96年、サバティカルとなったファー先生に代わり私達Associatesのご指導にあたられた。いつも温厚な笑顔を浮かべ接して頂いた。96年春、私は離任にあたって先生を訪ねた。部屋に招じ入れられ二人きりになると、「日本後で話しましょう」と言われ、更に私を、「日本の会社員らしい人」と評された。お言葉の意味は不明だったが、銀行の中堅管理職だった私は、お褒め頂いたと理解することにした。持参した先生の著書にサインを頂いた。『日米プログラムに参加して下さってどうもありがとう。ヴォ―ゲル・エズラ』と日本語で書いて下さった。ご逝去のお知らせに悲しさがこみ上げてくる。謹んで先生のご冥福をお祈りしたい。

Yasuhiro Uozumi (2006–⁠07)

突然の訃報に接し、深い悲しみと驚きを禁じ得ません。留学中はもとより、卒業後も折に触れてお会いする度に気にかけて頂くだけでなく、よく経団連との思い出をお話して下さったことが昨日のことのように思い出されます。2019年秋にワシントンDCでのご講演を拝聴した後、ご挨拶させて頂いた時のお元気なお姿が今も目に焼き付いています。いつも笑顔を絶やさずに誰にでも敬意を持って優しく対応されていたボーゲル先生からは多くのことを学ばせて頂きました。人生の転機となった留学時に先生とお会いできたことは自分にとっての財産となりました。これまでのご厚意に改めて感謝申し上げますとともに、心よりご冥福をお祈りいたします。

Kozo Yamamoto (1981–⁠82)

Dear Vogel family,
 
I was truly shocked when I heard Ezra Vogel has passed away. 

Many memories with him flash-backed. He was a great scholar as well as a great progenitor who helped make understood Japanese economy and society to the world. ゛Japan as number one "was the most well-known monument in his works. He was also a great mentor to us all who joined in the Us―Japan program.

I had the opportunity to speak with Empress Masako on the 21st , right as we got word of Ezra's passing. She was also very grieved at his passing.

He will be remembered in history not only for his unparalleled scholarly outputs ,but also for his undying compassion to improve US-Japan relations.

I would like to convey my sincere condolence to Ezra's family and be ready to do any assistance if necessary.