Sugihara, Seishiro 1941-

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SUGIHARA, Seishiro 1941-


PERSONAL: Born July 29, 1941, in Hiroshima, Japan; son of Tetsuro (a teacher) and Chizuko Sugihara; married August 3, 1974; wife's name Motoko. Ethnicity: "Japanese." Education: Tokyo University, B.A., 1965, M.A., 1967. Religion: Buddhist.




ADDRESSES: Home—2-18-15-504 Niiza, Niiza-shi, Saitama 352-0006, Japan. Offıce—Musashino Women's University, 1-1-20 Shinmachi, Nishi Tokyo-shi 202-8585, Japan.


CAREER: Josai University, Sakado-shi, Japan, instructor, 1970-75, associate professor, 1975-80, professor, 1980-92; Musashino Women's University, Nishi Tokyo-shi, Japan, professor, 1992—. Science Council of Japan, member of Japan National Committee for Educational Science.


MEMBER: Japan Educational Administration Society, Religious Law Association.


AWARDS, HONORS: Mochida Eiichi Prize, Buddhism Nursery Association, 1998.


WRITINGS:


Kyoiku kihonho, sono seitei katei to kaishaku (title means "The Fundamental Law of Education: Its Process of Enactment and Commentary,"), Kyodo Shuppan (Tokyo, Japan), 1972, revised edition, Bunka Shobo Hakubunsha (Tokyo, Japan), 2002.

Hogaku no kiso riron: sono hochishugi kozo (title means "Theory of Law: Theory of a Law-governed Country"), Kyodo Shuppan (Tokyo, Japan), 1973.

Kyoiku kihonho no seiritsu: "jinkaku no kansei" wo megutte (title means "Enactment of the Fundamental Law of Education: On the Meaning of 'Full Development of Personality'"), Nippon Hyoronsha (Tokyo, Japan), 1983.

Nihon no shinto, bukkyo to sei-kyo bunri (title means "Shinto and Buddhism in Japan and the Separation of Church and State"), Bunka Shobo Hakubunsha (Tokyo, Japan), 1992, revised edition, 2001.

(Editor and annotator) Sotenken—Shinju-wan 50-shunen hodo: Nan ga doko made wakatta ka, Morita Shuppan (Tokyo, Japan), 1992, translation by Theodore McNelly published as Japanese Perspectives on Pearl Harbor: A Critical Review of Japanese Reports on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Asian Research Service (Hong Kong), 1995.

Nichi-Bei kaisen iko no Nihon gaiko no kenkyu, Aki Shobo (Tokyo, Japan), 1997, translation by Norman Hu published as Between Incompetence and Culpability: Assessing the Diplomacy of Japan's Foreign Ministry from Pearl Harbor to Potsdam, University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 1997.

Sugihara Chiune to Nihon non Gaimusho, Taisho Shuppan (Tokyo, Japan), 1999, translation by Norman Hu published as Chiune Sugihara and Japan's Foreign Ministry: Between Incompetence and Culpability; Part 2, University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 2001.


Sugihara's writings have also been translated into Chinese and Korean.


SIDELIGHTS: Seishiro Sugihara's translator, Norman Hu, told CA: "Sugihara's 1997 book, translated into English as Between Incompetence and Culpability: Assessing the Diplomacy of Japan's Foreign Ministry from Pearl Harbor to Potsdam, focused on the talks between Japan and the United States prior to the outbreak of war between those two countries. Research in Japan on the history of the negotiations has largely dealt with the tragic consequences for the Japanese people and, while blame for the war has largely been attributed to Japan's military, there has been no clear identification of who was responsible for Japan's diplomacy. Sugihara argued strongly that this has been because individuals within the Japanese Foreign Ministry have misrepresented the research into the history of those negotiations. Sugihara contended that crucial lapses by Japan's so-called experts on diplomatic and military history help to explain why ordinary Japanese people have such a distorted understanding of the war. Indirectly, they have also had a distorting effect upon American research on the prewar talks.

"Although formally a scholar of pedagogical studies, Sugihara's interest in the Foreign Ministry was aroused when he learned of the many incomprehensible policies the ministry had adopted toward Japan's neighbors. It had also been responsible for delivering the Japanese 'declaration of war' about an hour after the attack on Pearl Harbor began, in effect turning that action into a sneak attack. The official at the Japanese embassy in Washington who was supposed to type that 'declaration' had shirked his duties the night before, resulting in the delayed delivery. Sugihara was astonished to discover that, rather than facing disciplinary action, after the war the same official had been promoted to one of the highest administrative positions within the ministry!

"With the Foreign Ministry squarely in his sights, Sugihara felt the need, during the fiftieth anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, to clarify once and for all the events which led to that attack. He compiled and annotated a broad selection of newspaper and magazine articles which appeared at the time (and also gave his views on various television specials) and published this collection in Japanese in 1992. The compilation was later translated into English as Japanese Perspectives on Pearl Harbor: A Critical Review of Japanese Reports on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor Attack.


"Among other issues, the book Between Incompetence and Culpability highlighted the role played by Joseph C. Grew, United States ambassador to Japan when war broke out, in formulating the Potsdam Proclamation. This document gave Japan, despite its having launched a so-called sneak attack on the United States, the invaluable opportunity to surrender before it suffered the fate of being partitioned, as was later to happen to Korea in the 1950s. Grew's shining achievement was in stark contrast to the failings of the Foreign Ministry. Although during the postwar period the ministry resolutely ignored Grew's accomplishment, Sugihara hoped this book would redress that imbalance and in that sense contribute toward a proper understanding of prewar talks between Japan and the United States.


"In his sequel to that book, translated into English as Chiune Sugihara and Japan's Foreign Ministry: Between Incompetence and Culpability; Part 2, Sugihara turned his attention to another thorny issue for the Foreign Ministry: its postwar treatment of Chiune Sugihara (no relation to the author). The Japanese version of this volume was warmly received by critics and was later published in English, with a foreword by Chiune's widow, Yukiko Sugihara. This book relates how Chiune, Japan's consul to Lithuania in 1940, disobeyed Foreign Ministry orders and saved the lives of 6,000 Jews by issuing them transit visas through Japan. Chiune was summarily dismissed by the ministry after the war and was consistently ignored by officials at the core of postwar Japanese diplomacy. The author wanted Chiune to receive due public recognition.

"The consistent thread throughout Sugihara's writings on this subject has been for the people of Japan to develop a proper understanding of their history, and to reflect in an appropriate manner on the tragic war between Japan and the United States."

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Sugihara, Seishiro 1941-

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