Wed: 27th - Fri: 29th of September
The Institute of Historical Research,
Senate House, University of London WC1E 7HU.
All the distinguished colleagues who shared the three-day conference,
Iím making a brief address looking back at the immense experience of ours.
In the opening address on Wednesday morning I referred to several difficulties in the preparation. I may have been too nervous/cautious. Also I said wishfully that ĎIt is only after rain that the ground is firm and settledí.
Did a miracle take place? During the last three days, we have had some rain. And the ground is firmly set for not simply Ďthe invention of traditioní but for further development of a good tradition among us, the historians of the two countries.
We learned a lot from the 12 papers and following discussions:
From Asaji sanís paper we began learning something about the Ďcommunity of historiansí whether it be medieval or modern, or else;
Aoki san reminded that to be a leading historian you have to show youíre public-spirited and contribute 100 pounds or more to IHR;
Sakata san pointed to the importance of London in early modern economy as well as in historical studies in general;
Miichi san caused a great seismic-shock to the British historical world, and we have to be extra-careful about the language great; So we can no longer talk about a great success of AJC;
Yamamoto san revealed the reasons why not only Irish and English cannot easily make friends, but people of some parts of the Japanese Isles either;
Kawashima sanís revisionism allures us all to visit the beautiful stone-gardens of Kyoto;
Kawamura san pointed to the significance of cross-gender and cross-cultural friendship in the historic institutionalization of an ambitious project;
Goto-Shibata san urges us all to delve into our family library and look back into the old textbooks of our school days to understand our preoccupations either good or bad;
Akita san talked about the complementary/interdependent structure of international cooperation/competition from a Japanese perspective;
Takada sanís paper introduced us to the voluntary spirit of association that is vital not only for friendly societies but for international conferences of historians;
Matsumura san reminds us that no historian can dispense with the present, the acute issues of our own age;
Donít worry. Iím not forgetting Arai san, who told us that the closing passages of a historiansí conference should be short.
All in all we are wiser than we were a few days ago, and we are becoming good friends.
Thank you very much everyone who took part in the A-J Conference to make it such a lively and fruitful one. (I refrain from using the language a great success.)
And on behalf of the Japanese delegation I would express our hearty appreciation of David Cannadineís friendly interventions in discussion as well as the careful organization made by members of IHR.
Our acknowledgement extends to the Sasakawa Foundation of Britain, the Japan Society, the Daiwa Foundation, and the British National Committee.
... Perhaps, some of us would start talking about the future of the just-established big tradition. But, let us not hurry, and hear very good news soon.