Early-Career Scholar Forum

Oka Yoshisato and Political Science in Post-war Japan

Friday, 5 November 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Zoom access link will be provided after registration.
  • Isami Sawai Project Lecturer, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, the University of Tokyo
  • Masayuki Tamaruya Professor, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Oka Yoshisato (1921-1999), a professor of political science at the UTokyo Faculty of Law, is famous for his book Politics Seiji in Japan, which showed his original and systematic insights on politics in general. However, presumably since the number of his works is very limited and that his writing style is difficult to understand, few researchers have investigated Oka’s study of political science. By relying on a variety of sources including transcripts of his lectures as well as his book collections, this presentation examines the development, transformation, and challenge of Oka’s study of political science, particularly emphasizing the impact of historical and intellectual backgrounds of the 1960s. Furthermore, this presentation argues that the re-evaluation of Oka’s study would lead to revealing the ‘Japanese’ features of political science in the post-war period, which still have some impacts on contemporary political studies in Japan.

About the Speaker

Isami Sawai is a Project Lecturer at UTokyo Graduate Schools for Law and Politics. He received a LL.B. (2013) and M.Phil. in Political Science (2015) from UTokyo, and is now at the final stage of his PhD in International History at London School of Economics (2021). Before the appointment to the Project Lecturer position, he had worked as a research associate at UTokyo Graduate Schools for Law and Politics from 2015-16 and 2019-21. His research interests lie in modern East Asian international history, particularly in China and Japan’s transformation of foreign relations in the late 19th century.