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Morikuni Sugawara

Morikuni Sugawara [profile]

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Chuo University and London

Morikuni Sugawara
Professor of Modern Japanese Political History, Faculty of Law, Chuo University

3 students and 2 alumni competing as Olympic athletes

The London Olympics will be held from July 27th (Fri.) to August 12th (Sun.). Representing Japan from the Chuo University Track and Field Team are Shota Iizuka (3rd year student in the Faculty of Law), who will compete in the men's 200 meters and the 4×100 meter relay, and Tetsuya Tateno (3rd year student in the Faculty of Commerce), who will compete in the men's 400 meter hurdles. From the Chuo University Swimming Team is Chiaki Ishibashi (3rd year student in the Faculty of Policy Studies), who will compete in the men's 4×200 meter relay. Also representing Japan are two Chuo alumni: Ryo Yamamoto (former member of the Track and Field Team; graduated in 2007), who will compete in the men's marathon, and Kenta Chida (former member of Fencing Team; graduated in 2009), who will compete in the men's singles and group foil (fencing). On June 22nd, a send-off event was held for the 3 student-athletes at the Central Plaza of Tama Campus. We sincerely hope that the passion and effort that the athletes have put into their training will be rewarded with a medal.

Chuo University founders and Middle Temple

The city of London shares ties with Chuo University. Among the 18 young lawyers who founded the Igirisu Horitsu Gakko (English Law School) in 1885, Teruhiko Okamura, Nobushige Hozumi, Rokuichiro Masujima and Yasushi Hijikata had studied British law at Middle Temple, which is a law school in London. The four men also acquired the legal certification of barrister.

Together with the law schools Inner Temple, Lincoln's Inn and Gray's Inn, Middle Temple is one law school that composes the Inns of Court. The Japanese term hogakuin has not yet become generally accepted as a translation for the Inns of Court. Although Inns of Court is sometimes translated using the Japanese term hosogakuin, Nobushige Hozumi translated Middle Temple as chuohoin and Inner Temple as naibuhoin. In 1889, the name of the Igirisu Horitsu Gakko was changed to Tokyo Hogakuin, and then changed again to Chuo University in 1905. One can recognize the influence of Hozumi's translation chuohoin in the name of our University.

Teruhiko Okamura and Nobushige Hozumi

On June 19th, 1876, the Ministry of Education selected 10 students from Tokyo Kaisei Gakko (the following year, name changed to the University of Tokyo) as the second group to study abroad. Teruhiko Okamura and Nobushige Hozumi were among those selected and were ordered to spend 5 years studying law in England. According to Hozumi's Memoirs of the Journey to England, a group of 11 people boarded the transpacific passenger boat Alaska on June 24th and crossed the Pacific Ocean in route to San Francisco. The group consisted of one student supervisor, 8 students bound for England and 2 students bound for France. After disembarking in San Francisco, the group traveled to New York by transcontinental railroad. The group then rode in a transatlantic ship to Liverpool, after which they made the 5-hour journey to Euston Station in London. It was August 18th when they finally arrived at their final destination, the Euston Hotel.

After arriving in England, Hozumi wrote the following in his diary of foreign study: "From August 18th, 1876 until October, I performed procedures necessary to enter the Inns of Court. From October 2nd, I began my study of law and legal procedure under the instruction of Thomas Atkins, a barrister at the University of London. On the same day, I entered King's College London. I then passed school examinations on November 7th and became a member student of the Middle Temple." The position of barrister at law is a different form of certification from Solicitor, which is a procedural lawyer. Regarding Hozumi's entering King's College in November, his student ID (entrance registration form) for King's College (nighttime section) still remains. According to the student ID, Hozumi was enrolled in language courses for Latin and English. This means that he was only enrolled in 2 courses out of the more than 30 offered by Kings College. At that time, the Middle Temple required that foreign students pass examinations for courses in English, Latin and British History before being officially admitted to the school.

In this way, Hozumi studied at Kings College and became a member student of Middle Temple. His hard studying paid off when, as a result of examinations given in July 1878, he was selected as a First-Place Scholar. This honor is bestowed on only one student per year. He was also granted a scholarship (monetary award for First-Place Scholar: 100 guineas per year). These achievements were the result of Hozumi's extremely rigorous study habits. Even while paying attention to his health, he said that "I spend every afternoon at the library reading various books and then study at night as well, sleeping no more than 4 hours a day." Teruhiko Okamura also led a austere lifestyle to prepare for the examinations; however, extreme sleep deprivation caused him to suffer from cerebral anemia. It is surmised that this illness made him ineligible to sit for the examinations.

Despite such hardships, Hozumi passed his final examinations in January 1879 and graduated from the Inns of Court. He assumed the title of Barrister at Law and his name was listed in the barrister register of the Middle Temple. Also, although Teruhiko Okamura's (his nickname was Napoleon Okamura/Hokkai Okumura) studies were delayed due to fatigue from excessive hard work he graduated in January 1880 and obtained his barrister license.

Rokuichiro Masujima and Yasushi Hijikata

Among the founders of Chuo University, Rokuichiro Masujima entered Middle Temple after Hozumi and Okamura. Masujima's first name was Rokuichiro because he was born when his father was 61 years old (61 is pronounced roku-ju-ichi). Masujima was well-known as a child prodigy and graduated first in his class from the School of Law, University of Tokyo in 1879. His talent was recognized by Yataro Iwasaki (founder of Mitsubishi) and traveled to England through his aid. In 1881, Masujima was authorized to begin studies at Middle Temple.

At that time, entrance fees were approximately 50 pounds. Additionally, Masujima was also asked make a deposit of 100 pounds which would be reimbursed when he became a barrister. This was an extremely large sum of money for a new student. However, the deposit was used as a grant for barristers employed in offices affiliated with the Inns of Court. Just like Hozumi and Okamura, Masujima was required to attend a school term (4 school terms in one year) after entering school. Attending a school term consisted of having dinner at the cafeteria of the Inns of Court and listening to the reading of a book on statutory law either during or after dinner. Each student was required to attend a certain number of school terms (3 times in one semester when Masujima was a student). From 1881 to 1883, it is thought that Masujima had about 30 official meals at the cafeteria (hall) of Middle Temple, which is known as one of the finest examples of Elizabethan architecture. Also, both during and after meals, there was active debate regarding legal issues and current events. Most likely, Masujima interacted with other students from the school by joining in their debates, thus making new friendships and acquaintances.

The type of study that was normally conducted by Masujima is uncertain because no records remain. However, Masujima probably focused on preparing for examinations, much like the two Chuo University founders who became barristers before him. Currently, a portrait of Masujima is hung in the library of Middle Temple. This seems to indicate that he spent a great amount of time carefully reading his textbooks and biannually-published legal certification journals which contained questions and model answers from past examinations. Masujima attended the required school terms and passed written/oral examinations which were held in the cafeteria of Lincoln's Inn, the largest of the four law schools. It was June 6th, 1883 when he completed screening procedures and became a barrister.

In 1882, Yasushi Hijikata also studied British law and graduated from the School of Law, University of Tokyo. Although he had wanted to study abroad since during his time at university, factors such as household circumstances forced him to obtain employment at the University of Tokyo. After becoming an Associate Professor, he finally had a chance to go to England. From 1888 to 1890, Yasushi Hijikata studied British law as a student at Middle Temple and ultimately obtained the certification of barrister. During this period, he also took up trout fishing and hunting, hobbies of which were popular among British gentlemen. He would continue these hobbies for the rest of his life.

Hozumi, Okamura, Masujima, Hijikata and the other of the 18 energetic young legal scholars of British and American law sought to spread British and American law throughout Japan. This desire was imbued in the founding spirit of Chuo University and was shown when the young scholars established Igirisu Horitsu Gakko in Kanda-Nishikicho, Tokyo.

The metropolis of London

While devotedly studying amidst what he described as "poor air quality, black smoke and white fog, the likes of which cannot be found anywhere else," Nobushige Hozumi gradually became fatigued. He wrote that he lost the "vitality to walk." It seems that Teruhiko Okamura also suffered from similar fatigue. Hozumi wrote that "while drinking cod liver oil to supplement my health, I desperately looked forward to summer vacation from school." After going through the industrial revolution and industrial development, present day London is much different from the olden days when it prospered as a capital during the height of the British Empire. In contrast to the influx of modern high-rise architecture, the central area of London contains districts which are known as oases of quietness. The Inns of Court is one such tranquil building. Also, the central area contains broad, green parks and traditional architecture which expresses the city's history. Such attractions make London a metropolis which fascinates visitors. I wonder how London appears to Japanese athletes and to Olympic competitors from countries throughout the world.

Morikuni Sugawara
Professor of Modern Japanese Political History, Faculty of Law, Chuo University
Born in Hokkaido in 1944. In 1969, completed the Master's Program in politic science at the Chuo University Graduate School of Law. Served as a Research Assistant and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, Chuo University before becoming a Professor in 1982. For more information on Middle Temple, please refer to 2009 London Travelogue-Visiting to Middle Temple in the Hakumon Movie section of the Chuo University homepage.