The 73rd GJS SeminarKagawa Toyohiko: The Image and Reality of the "Gandhi of Japan"

Date and time: March 30, 2021 (Tue.), 4:00-5:00PM
Venue: Online via Zoom
Speaker: Bo Tao (Visiting Research Fellow, Waseda University)
Language: English
This is an online event with Zoom. Please register here:

Kagawa Toyohiko (1888-1960), who was known as the “Gandhi of Japan,” became the first Japanese person to be nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature (1947, 1948), as well as the first Japanese nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in the postwar period (1954, 1955, 1956, 1960), and was one of the foremost internationalists of the twentieth century. Despite the sixty years that have passed since his death, however, a consensus on the impact of his life and legacy is yet to emerge. This is due to a number of reasons, including the disconnect between the scholarship produced from the nationalistic frameworks of Japanese history versus U.S. history—which itself partially stems from a disparity in the awareness of and access to primary sources located on both sides of the Pacific—and the lack of general understanding regarding the transnational networks of cultural and religious exchange that existed at the time. In this presentation, I attempt to reposition Kagawa within a global framework by examining his relationship with Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948).


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Organizer: Global Japan Studies Network (GJS)
Co-organizer: Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA)
Contact: gjs[at]