The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon has been bestowed upon Professor James Arthur Ainscow Stockwin in recognition of his tireless efforts to promote Japanese Studies in the United Kingdom as well as friendship and mutual understanding between the Japanese and British peoples. The decoration was presented to him by Ambassador Yoshiji Nogami on behalf of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan at a reception held at the Ambassador's London residence on November 18. Professor Stockwin is one of the three Britons out of 48 foreign nationals who have been honoured by the government of Japan this year.
Professor Stockwin has dedicated most of his adult life to making Japan, especially its modern history and politics, accessible and understandable to the outside world. His mission has been based upon a profound affection for Japan, which was nurtured and strengthened when he had the opportunity in 1962 to spend over one year at the Tokyo University Social Science Research Centre.
His long association with Oxford goes back to his undergraduate days, when he was a student at Exeter College. After spending the best part of twenty years at the Australian National University in Canberra, he returned to the UK in 1982 when he was appointed Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Studies, specialising in Political Science, and Director of the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies at Oxford University. Among the fruits of his dedication and hard work, he has helped to open up Japanese Studies to specialists in other fields such as economics, finance, anthropology and labour relations.
On the occasion of the bestowal of the decoration, Ambassador Nogami praised the modest, self-effacing Professor Stockwin for doing "a tremendous amount to help people in the United Kingdom, elsewhere in Europe and in every English-speaking country make sense of modern Japan".
In his acceptance speech Professor Stockwin said, "I feel most honoured to be awarded the Order of the Rising Sun with Gold Rays and Neck Ribbon. When I first heard about this award, I was astonished. And then reflecting on it, I came to the conclusion that the honour reflected not just my efforts alone, but the efforts of our whole team in Japanese studies at the University of Oxford. Over the past twenty years and more, we have worked closely together at the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, but also with our colleagues at the Oriental Insititute, at St Antony's College, at the Bodleian Japanese Library and at various other departments of the University."
|Excerpt from Professor Stockwin's speech in Japanese