JaCMES Lecture Series The Middle East and Japan No.1

“A Tatar Islamic Thinker Abdürreshit Ibrahim’s Travelogue to Japan, 1909″

Date Tuesday, November 6, 2007 18:00- 20:00
Venue Press Club,
2nd Floor, A2-1, Azariyeh Bldg.,Beirut Central District
Program
18:00-18:10 Welcome Address: Prof. Hidemitsu Kuroki (Director, JaCMES)
18:10-18:50 Lecture: Prof. Hisao Komatsu (University of Tokyo)
“A Pan-Islamist’s Journey: Russia, the Ottoman Empire and Japan”
18:50-19:30 Lecture: Prof. Abderrahim Benhadda (University of Muhammad V-Rabat)
“Self and Other: A Muslim in Japan at the Beginning of 20th Century” (in Arabic)
19:30-20:00 Discussion

Japan Center for Middle Eastern Studies (JaCMES) is now launching a series of lectures “The Middle East and Japan”, in which various subjects of the relations between the two areas will be discussed. The first lecture meeting deals with a travelogue written by a Tatar Muslim Abdürreshit Ibrahim (1857-1944), who traveled from Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan today, to Japan through Siberia and stayed in the country for five months in 1909. This Islamic thinker in exile contributed his vivid descriptions of the Far East country to a local journal published in Kazan. He compiled the articles and other lectures on Japan as well as other parts of Asia into a book titled “The World of Islam” (‘Alam-i Islam) in Ottoman Turkish and published it in Istanbul in 1910. During his stay in Japan, Ibrahim met and talked with a number of people of varieties, from a rikisha (a coach pulled by a man) driver to Hirobumi Ito, the first, fifth, seventh and tenth Prime Minister. Ibrahim was the first Muslim intellectual to introduce the modern Japanese society and culture to the Middle East, basing on his own experiences of life in the country.

Professor Hisao Komatsu teaches the modern history of Central Asian countries and Ottoman history at the University of Tokyo. Prof. Komatsu translated Ibrahims travelogue from Ottoman Turkish into Japanese and published it with his wife Prof. Kaori Komatsu of the University of Tsukuba.

Professor Abderrahim Benhadda of University of Muhammad V, Rabat, is specializing in Ottoman history, from the view point of international exchange between the Empire and Morocco. Prof. Benhadda is planning to translate the travelogue from Ottoman Turkish into Arabic.

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