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Masashi Haneda, A Workshop at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes, Paris

2007.11.30 羽田正

I am in Paris to attend a workshop of two days at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. I arrived here on Tuesday evening and will go back to Tokyo with today(Thursday)’s flight.

I have just two nights here and have to attend a meeting from morning till night, suffering from a heavy jet-lag (I am writing this at four o’clock in the morning!). I have no time at all to stroll around this beautiful city, alas! Anyway, this is my shortest stay in Europe. I have to go to Hongo campus directly from Narita airport to attend a seminar on Friday. How small the world becomes!

The workshop has no relation with the activities of UTCP, since it is planned in the framework of the accord between CNRS (Centre national de recherches scientifiques) and UT (University of Tokyo) to develop the international cooperation in the field of social sciences. The responsible institutions at UT are the Institute of Social Science and the Institute of Oriental Culture. The workshop has no common title. Anyone can talk on any topic on condition that he or she has a partner. Therefore, we have three sessions on economy, a session on Korean studies, a session on East Asian history and a session on philosophy. What a variety! Nobody knows why we are here together. The only common point is East Asia.

Yesterday, I talked on the history of East Asian maritime world, because my French partner, economist interested in contemporary East Asian port cities, asked me to do so. What a different topic it is from what I talked at the UTCP meeting last week! I tried to generalize my discussion, but, was not quite sure if participants understood well the meaning of our session. At lunch time, another economist working on the contemporary firms’ mark-up told me that she enjoyed the session and found a couple of common issues between her topic and ours. Her words encouraged me very much. Yes, we have to be always open and should not loose curiosity. So long as we belong to the same community of serious researchers, there must be something interesting in anyone’s work.

I wrote that the workshop has nothing to do with the activities of UTCP. I may be wrong, since I met a French researcher, who had seen Kobayashi-san in a meeting at Komaba recently. I will be a chair person of the session on philosophy this morning. Joël Thoraval, Nakajima-san’s partner in his UTCP programme will give a talk there. It is true that the world becomes small.

PS: I heard the presentation of Joël Thoraval. How wonderful it was! I have never heard such a clear, strong and persuasive message in the field of humanities. I completely agreed with his discussion on the modern Confucianism. We will be happy to have him as a cooperative member from next March.

Haneda Masashi at Paris Charle de Gaulle airport.

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