Professor Hiro Aida speaks on Russell Kirk and Japan in Tampa, Florida

On April 19 and 21, Professor Hiro Aida of Kansai University gave two lectures sponsored by the Russell Kirk Center and the Japanese Consulate-General in Miami. These lectures were designed to dovetail with a meeting of the Philadelphia Society in Tampa and so to invite response from preeminent scholars gathered for the meeting.
The roundtable discussions included as panelists Dr. George Nash, Dr. Wilfred McClay (Hillsdale College), Dr. Luke Sheahan (University Bookman and Duquesne University) and Dr. Allen Mendenhall (Troy University). Both events were enthusiastically received by a room full of scholars, journalists, students, and local participants.
The first lecture was on “Russell Kirk’s Fascination With Japan,” and explained Kirk’s long interest in the writer Lafcardio Hearn and the interconnectedness of generations. The second lecture was on “The Emerging Intellectual Landscape in America and Its Implications for Japan and Other Allies” during which Aida outlined the current political and economic views of both countries and their alignment with each other.
In his introduction of Aida, Dr. Jeffrey Nelson, Executive Director of the Russell Kirk Center, referred to him as “the Japanese Tocqueville,” due to his perceptive analysis of the American people from a foreign perspective and his embrace of both change and tradition.
During his talk, Aida shared his experience of his first trip to visit the Kirk family more than 30 years ago. Of that visit to Mecosta, he says, “I spent some of the most fruitful days of my life.” Over the years, Aida became well versed in Kirk’s writings, wrote many articles on Kirk’s thought for major newspapers in Japan, and recently translated The Conservative Mind into Japanese.
The Kirk Center is grateful to Hiro Aida for his excellent presentations and to Mr. Yuma Ozawa from the Consulate-General for organizing and hosting the panels.

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