Past Events

Asan Cold War Liberalism Project

Maruyama Masao: A Liberal Intellectual’s Thought and Action During the Cold War Period


Date: July 4th (Thurs.) – July 5th (Fri.), 2013

Place: 2nd Floor Conference Room, The Asan Institute for Policy Studies


On July 4-5, 2013, the Asan Institute for Policy Studies held a two-day conference on the topic of “Liberalist, Maruyama Masao: An Intellectual’s Thought and Behavior in the Cold War Period.”


Maruyama Masao was one of the leading scholars in Japan after World War II, one who was widely called the “Emperor of Academia.” He was known for his harsh criticism of Japanese militarism and fascism and was a conscientious intellectual who raised his voice on behalf of freedom and democratization in Japanese society. The conference took particular note of Maruyama Masao’s identity as a “socially active intellectual” who spoke out boldly, acted resolutely, and lived a full and intense life as a liberalist during the Cold War. Many of Maruyama Masao’s own students from Japan and Korea, as well
as scholars heralding from both countries, gathered at the Asan Institute to present
their findings and engage in a lively debate that resulted in a deep discourse
on postwar Japanese society and Maruyama Masao.

The conference started off with a welcome from President Hahm Chaibong, opening remarks by Professor Iida Taizo, and additional special remarks from Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea

Lee Hong-Koo. Professor Row Byoung Ho (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies),
Professor Park Hong-Kyu (Korea University), and Senior Research Fellow Kim Seog
Gun (The Asan Institute for Policy Studies) began Session I on “Liberalism,
Democracy, and International Politics.” The session consisted of animated
discussions about their respective presentations: “Permanent Revolution after
the Anti-Security Treaty Struggle: Rethinking Criticism of Maruyama Masao,” “Fukuzawa
Yukichi and Maruyama Masao in International Politics,” and “Individual and
Citizen in Maruyama Masao’s Thought: in Relation with Subjectivity.”




Throughout the session, issues that surfaced
included Maruyama Masao’s opposition to the extremist behavior of radical
college students in the late 1960s, his great appreciation for and own
interpretation of Fukuzawa Yukichi’s thought, and his changing attitude toward liberalism
and democracy.




Japanese scholars made their presentations during
Session II, titled “Japanese Tradition, Democracy and Legitimacy.” Professor Karube Tadashi at University of Tokyo discussed “Maruyama’s Interpretation of
Japanese Tradition of Thought: 1930s and after”; Professor Shimizu Yasuhisa, also
from Kyushu University, spoke about “Maruyama Masao and the Dilemmas of
Democracy”; and finally, Professor Kono Yuri from Tokyo Metropolitan University
discussed “Why Legitimacy Matters?: Maruyama Masao in the 1980s.” These reports
covered Maruyama Masao’s thought and behavior from a wide variety of




Over the course of the second session, the speakers
etched out a picture of Maruyama Masao’s efforts to reconstitute traditions,
the political dilemmas that accompany democracy, and the issue of legitimacy that
occupied Maruyama Masao in the 1980s.




On the morning of the second day of the conference
(July 5th), there was a book launch for Maruyama
Masao: Subjectivity, Fascism, Civil Society
, which had been translated by
Senior Research Fellow Kim Seog Gun from Japanese to Korean. The book was
edited by Professor Kobayashi Masaya at Chiba University and includes comments
on Maruyama Masao’s work by eight scholars. The reinterpretations of Maruyama
Masao’s thought, ranging from a new constitutional order to communitarianism,
are some of the prominent highlights of the book. Furthermore, the book
includes an overview of relevant existing arguments and controversies, which
are aimed at helping Korean readers situate Maruyama Masao’s thought in a
larger context. This context provided the impetus for the academic conference
and translation and publication of the book.




The last session, “Maruyama Masao and Liberalism,
and East Asia” was held as a roundtable conducive to group discussion in which
speakers, discussants, and other participants could debate freely. The memories
and experiences of Korean and Japanese scholars who had learned from Maruyama
Masao himself were instructive and interesting to the younger scholars and
participants who had never met him personally. Younger participants also made
keen assessments and raised new questions about Maruyama Masao’s influence on
postwar Japanese society and democratization. As the closing session for the
conference, the roundtable offered audience members the chance to pose
questions and remark on presentations made over the two days of discussion.




The Asan Institute for Policy Studies has undertaken
the Asan Cold War Liberalism Project to illuminate the thought of leading Cold
War era liberals, including Isaiah Berlin, Michael Oakeshott, and Friedrich
August von Hayek through a series of conferences and book translations. The
conference on Maruyama Masao was invaluable in illuminating critiques about the
current “conservative shift” and “rightist shift” taking place in Japanese
society and added to the debate on current events on the Korean Peninsula. The
active participation of the speakers, discussants, and many other participants
contributed greatly to the conference.












Welcoming Remarks


Hahm Chaibong, President of The Asan Institute for
Policy Studies.




Special Remarks


Lee Hong-Koo, Chairman of Seoul Forum for
International Affairs, Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea.






Kim Seog Gun, Senior Research Fellow of The Asan
Institute for Policy Studies.


Row Byoung Ho, Professor at Hankuk University of
Foreign Studies.


Park Hong-Kyu, Professor at Korea University.






Kim Young-Jak, Emeritus Professor at Kookmin


Kim Hong Woo, Emeritus Professor at Seoul National
University, Member of The National Academy of Sciences.


Park Choong-Seok, Emeritus Professor at Ewha Womans


Choi Sang Yong, Emeritus Professor at Korea
University, Former Ambassador to Japan.






Opening Remarks


Iida Taizo, Emeritus Professor at Hosei University,
Vice President at University of Shimane.






Karube Tadashi, Professor at University of Tokyo.


Kono Yuri, Professor at Tokyo Metropolitan


Shimizu Yasuhisa, Professor at Kyushu University.






Iida Taizo, Emeritus Professor at Hosei University,
Vice President at University of Shimane.


Matsuda Koichiro, Professor at Rikkyo University.


Watanabe Hiroshi, Emeritus Professor at University
of Tokyo, Professor at Hosei University.