Center founder Prof. Ray Moore was recently honored for his lifework by the government of Japan. The text of the speech given by Consul General of Japan Boston, Akira Muto, follows:
Welcome Speech by Consul General Akira Muto
Prof. Ray Moore, distinguished guests, friends and relatives of Prof. Moore.
Welcome to you all. It is an honor and a pleasure to greet you this evening as we gather to celebrate the achievements of a distinguished scholar and a long-time friend of Japan. I am very grateful that you have been able to join us, traveling from near and far, to witness the conferment on Prof. Moore of a prestigious Imperial Decoration, the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon.
My government decided to confer this decoration on Prof. Moore in recognition of his various and significant contributions to the promotion of educational and academic exchange between Japan and the United States and the furthering of mutual understanding between our peoples.
Many of you may know the details of Prof. Moore’s history of relations with Japan, but I would like to take a moment to review them for you.
Prof. Moore has been instrumental in establishing several programs that have had far-reaching consequences in making Japan more familiar to Americans. First, he was a founder of the Associated Kyoto Program in 1972. This is a consortium of some 15 American colleges and universities that collaborate in making it possible for undergraduates at those schools to study in Kyoto. Over 1400 American students have had a fulfilling Japan experience through the Associated Kyoto Program. Many of them have gone on to build careers that bear some relationship to Japan. I am sure that Prof. Moore is proud that the program celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. Prof. Moore’s own students at Amherst have gone on to teach at prominent universities, such as Yale, the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, and New York University.
After the Associated Kyoto Program was up and running, Prof. Moore turned his attention to establishing the Five College Center for East Asian Studies in 1976, drawing on the joint resources of Amherst, Smith, Mount Holyoke, and Hampshire Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The Center for East Asian Studies offers programs to improve the teaching about Japan and East Asia at the college level, as well as in primary and secondary schools.
Throughout his career, Prof. Moore has made major contributions to scholarship about Japan. He has published widely, with major studies on the drafting of Japan’s constitution, as well as on the effects of General MacArthur’s years in Japan. Prof. Moore also was behind the creation at Amherst College of a beautiful Japanese-style garden called Yushien, or Garden of Friendship.
Another aspect of Prof. Moore’s presence in our bilateral relations is his mentoring of a long list of Japanese diplomats who early in their careers came to Amherst to pursue their studies. Amherst has welcomed such students beginning back in the 1920s, but some of those who received the benefits of Prof. Moore’s mentoring include Mr. Yoshiji Nogami, former Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Nobuyasu Abe, former Undersecretary-General of the United Nations and current Professor at the United Nations University in Tokyo.
Ever since he first visited Japan during the Korean War era, Prof. Moore has made it a life-time goal to better know and understand Japan and the Japanese people. Over the course of his career he has brought his knowledge and understanding to others, making a lasting impact on academic scholarship, on teaching in the schools about Japan, and on the people-to-people level of mutual understanding that is so important to maintaining and improving relations between our two countries.
In recognition of all the contributions he has made to Japan-U.S. relations, I am proud to confer this high decoration on Prof. Moore.