On the evening of November 3 (JST), an online joint lecture between the SFC GIGA course “Japan in World History” (taught by Prof. Yuichiro Shimizu) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of History lecture course “World History” (taught by Prof Hiromu Nagahara and Prof. Sana Aiyar) was held. In the context of an underscoring of the importance of global history, and to heighten learning outcomes on both sides, these two lectures were held in 2018 and 2020. The lectures involved discussions of the learning system to deepen understanding, and presentation of the findings via a joint lecture, with the current session marking the third time these lectures were being held.
This year, the final presentation and discussions were based on readings of the works of Tenshin Okakura and Rabindranath Tagore, along with the letters exchanged between them discussing “Pan-Asianism”. Despite it being late at night at SFC, and early in the morning at MIT, the students had far-reaching discussions touching not only on modern, but also ancient to contemporary history.
The 13-hour time difference between Japan and the East Coast of the U.S. has made such joint lectures difficult in the past, but this became possible four years ago following the addition of the Miraisozojuku residential buildings. For the previous and recent lectures, each participant was able to participate via ZOOM from their own home. In the future, it is likely that joint classes between Japanese studies classes at SFC and universities in other countries will further expand beyond MIT.