The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

Home > Culture > 150th anniversary of birth of members from the Waseda "Group of Four" Exhibition on Tameyuki Amano & Waseda University


150th anniversary of birth of members from the Waseda "Group of Four"
Exhibition on Tameyuki Amano & Waseda University

Keita Kinoshita
Part-Time Contract Employee, Waseda University Archives

Tameyuki Amano

Amano during late middle age

Together with Sanae Takada, Shoyo Tsubouchi and Kenichi Ichijima, Tameyuki Amano is counted as member of the "Group of Four," individuals who assisted the founding fathers Shigenobu Okuma and Azusa Ono in establishing Waseda University. The name Tameyuki Amano is well-known to graduates of Waseda Jitsugyo High School like me. Amano was the main advocate of the school mottos "three principles of respect" and "emphasizing content over form." Furthermore, the bust of Amano is always visible to students when going to high school and returning home.

However, Amano may currently be unfamiliar to the general public and even to students at Waseda University. Indeed, although bronze statues have been erected on the Waseda campus for the three other members of the Group of Four, there is no statue of Amano.

A series of exhibitions were held from 2009 to 2010 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of three of the members from the Group of Four. Now, an exhibition will be held for Amano, who is the fourth member. The exhibition will provide an opportunity to view rare materials related to Amano. I hope that many people will visit the exhibition.

Relationship with Karatsu City

"Three principles of respect" as written by Amano

Many people are aware that the Waseda Saga Junior High School and High School opened last April in Karatsu City, Saga Prefecture. It was the fifth Waseda University affiliated school to have been opened. Of course, Saga Prefecture has a deep relationship with Waseda as the birthplace of Shigenobu Okuma. Amano was also born in Saga Prefecture, in Karatsu City. Therefore, it can be said that Amano has an even deeper connection with the Waseda Saga Junior High School and High School.

Amano was born on February 6th, 1861 in residence maintained by a feudal lord in Edo. He was a child of a physician who worked for the Karatsu Clan. After his father died, the household moved back to Karatsu. Amano spent his childhood studying at the Karatsu Eigakko School while living in the Taiko Dormitory. During this time, he was educated by Korekiyo Takahashi, who would later become active as a financier.

On somewhat of a side note, Takahashi left writings about the Taiko Dormitory. According to these writings, the building used for the Taiko Dormitory was the former palace of Karatsu Clan leader. The palace was converted to a dormitory when the clan leader moved to Tokyo. The Karatsu City Educational Committee possesses a diagram entitled "Karatsu Castle Site (I)" (1987) which shows that the palace was located under the keep of Karatsu Castle. This location matches exactly with the current premises of the gymnasium at Waseda Saga Junior High School and High School. Furthermore, the official "Karatsu City History" (1962; edited by the Karatsu City Historical Compilation Committee) shows that Taiko Dormitory stood in the same location. This means that Amano spent his childhood studying in what are now the premises of Waseda Saga Junior High School and High School. This is yet another fascinating connection between Amano and the school.

A young Amano and Tokyo Senmon Gakko

At the recommendation of Takahashi, Amano moved to Tokyo at the age of 15. He entered the Tokyo Foreign Languages School and then Tokyo Kaisei Gakko (changed to the University of Tokyo during his term of study at the school). It was here that Amano became classmates with the previously mentioned Takada, Tsubouchi and Ichijima. At the urging of Takada, Amano and his classmates participated in meetings called Ohtokai held by Azusa Ono. Amano then began working as an instructor at Tokyo Senmon Gakko (currently Waseda University), which was founded in October 1882.

Together with Takada, Amano served as a prominent instructor at Tokyo Senmon Gakko. Furthermore, in 1886, he published the highly-successful book The Principles of Political Economy, which was based on his lectures at the school. The fourth edition of the book was published in the first year alone, and 25th edition was published in 1903. As a result, Amano quickly became known as one of foremost economists in Japan.

Amano's research

Nippon Rizai Zasshi [The Japan Economist] , published by Amano

Amano's premier academic achievement was undoubtedly the introduction of authentic economics via his work The Principles of Political Economy. Tanzan Ishibashi, who later served as Prime Minister of Japan, gave the following praise to Amano: "The Doctor (Amano) does not simply translate foreign academic ideas for introduction into Japanese society. Instead, he ponders ideas through his own perspective and perspective of Japan, and has thus established his own unique brands of economics." Without resting on laurels of The Principles of Political Economy, Amano aligned himself with the "independence of learning" which was a founding philosophy of Tokyo Senmon Gakko. Tokuzo Fukuda, an economist active prior to WWII, named Yukichi Fukuzawa, Ukichi Taguchi and Tameyuki Amano as the three foremost economist of the early Meiji Period. However, among these three economists, the research of Amano was actually closest to the modern image of economics.

Another unforgettable accomplishment of Amano was his management of Toyo Keizai (Oriental Economics), Inc., which remains widely known even today for the magazine Weekly Toyo Keizai (the company is also recognized for the report entitled Social Quarterly Journal). Amano was responsible for the growth of the magazine Toyo Keizai Shinpo (Oriental Economic Report) into Japan's leading economic magazine. Amano contributed numerous essays to this magazine. His economic essays featured incisive arguments and possess high academic value. In addition to being an outstanding theorist, Amano was also adept at analyzing and proposing solutions for current economic issues at that time.

Implementation of commercial education
-Participation in the founding of Waseda Jitsugyo High School and the Waseda University School of Commerce

School of Commerce (left)

The aforementioned Tokyo Senmon Gakko grew rapidly through the efforts of Sanae Takada and other members. The school changed its name to Waseda University on its 20th anniversary in 1902. Although Amano participated in these events, his true aspiration was the separation of commercial education from normal higher education.

In 1904, amidst the dramatic expansion of the commercial industry after the Sino-Japanese War, the predecessor of the current School of Commerce was established. Amano served as the first dean of the school. Through Amano's leadership, the School of Commerce experienced great growth based on the principle of practical education without over-emphasis of theory. At the end of the Meiji Period, the School of Commerce accounted for 60% to 70% of students graduating from Waseda University.

At the same time, Amano also felt the need for a school which would conduct independent practical education in the field of secondary education. He played a leading role in the founding of the Waseda Jitsugyo Junior High School (name later changed to Waseda Jitsugyo High School) in 1901. The following year, Amano became the second principal of the school. For more than 30 years, Amano was a part of both good and bad times at Waseda Jitsugyo High School, overseeing projects such as organizational development of the school and construction of new buildings in Tsurumaki Town.

Amano's personality

Scene from Amano's class

So, what kind of temperament did Amano have? The phrase "Amano-the most virtuous man at our school" can be found when viewing the Tokyo Senmon Gakko Book of Wall Writings (a book containing graffiti done by students). Other phrases in the book include "Sanae Takada is a coward" and "Tsubouchi is a bland man, but is passionate about reading novels," so Amano seems to have been popular in comparison! The certificate from the opening of Waseda University contains the line "encompassing the virtue of the Kanko Era" in reference to Amano's personality, so it seems that his reputation for virtue was not limited to students alone. The Book of Writing also contains a number of other interesting phrases including "Takada is thoughtless, Amano is fussy," "Amano is a man resembling a cow," and "Amano is leisurely, Tsubouchi is humorous and Takada is selfish."

Conversely, Amano's teaching style was described as follows: "Standing in a casual manner, he hardly moves his hands or body; indeed, his facial expression barely changes. He does not look at students, but does not avoid looking at them either. He does not laugh and he uses no text. His lecture comes and goes.indeed, he give an aura of being somewhat unapproachable." There are also eye-witness accounts his eccentricities as an instructor. Takada later described Amano as being "unable to relate to others." This aptly describes Amano's tendency to prefer silence and solitude.

Leaving Waseda University

In August 1915, Takada resigned from his post as the first president of the university. Takada was appointed as Minister of Education in the second cabinet of Okuma. Amano took his place as the second president of the university. However, the so-called "Waseda Troubles" which occurred in 1917 led to a dispute between Amano and Takada, who was also backed by university officials such as Ichijima. As a result, Amano severed ties with Waseda University.

Although the details of the dispute are quite complicated, it can be impartially said that Takada was vastly superior to Amano as manager of the university. It is no exaggeration to say that the thirty years of growth experienced by Waseda University were the result of Takada's shrewd and passionate management. Even so, the school had grown from a small establishment into a giant organization. Furthermore, Japan was on the verge of Taisho democracy. The university had entered a period which required a shift from the leadership style of Toshimichi Okubo to leadership based on party government. These circumstances are a likely reason that Amano's position was supported by the majority of students and alumni from various fields.

Two years after leaving Waseda University, Amano resumed the position of principal at Waseda Jitsugyo High School. He died on March 26th, 1938 at the age of 77 and while still serving as principal. Three days later, the school conducted his funeral where many alumni and students said their final goodbyes.

In November 1961, twenty-three years after his death, Waseda University reassessed Amano's achievements and held an event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth. Another fifty years have passed and it is now 2011. This exhibition commemorates the 150th anniversary of Amano's birth, and I hope that it will serve as an opportunity for further recognition of his accomplishments.

Exhibition information