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“Donald Keene Exhibition” (May 21- August 4) commemorating Recipient of the Waseda University Award for Distinguished Service to Art
Extolling his many achievements, about 80 collected items on display

The “Donald Keene Exhibition”, displaying valued works linked to Waseda University and theatre, owned by Donald Keene, who was selected as the 2012 Recipient of the Waseda University Award for Distinguished Service to Art, began on May 21 (Tues) at the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum. The exhibition runs until August 4 (Sun).

Bunzo Torigoe (right) interviewing Donald Keene

Keene recalls memories of his own collection

In September 2012, Donald Keene was presented a certificate as the Recipient of the Waseda University Award for Distinguished Service to Art. In his younger days at Columbia University, Keene studied under Waseda graduate Ryusaku Tsunoda, and then became well known for introducing Japanese culture to the world through his research in Japanese classics, ideology and arts, and his translations of modern Japanese literature. Through those achievements, he became the first non-Japanese academic to be awarded the Order of Cultural Merit. He acquired Japanese citizenship after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and his deep consideration toward Japan greatly moved the Japanese people. At Waseda University, he was made Professor Emeritus in 1998, and in a 125th Anniversary lecture, shared his valuable wisdom, greatly contributing to a deeper understanding of Japanese literature and culture.

On display are about 80 works including Racine’s tragedy Phèdre, which he read while stationed in Okinawa as a US Navy intelligence officer in 1945, Nihon Engeki Zenshi (The Complete History of Japanese Theatre) which he received from Shigetoshi Kawatake and Kindai Nouraku-shuu (A Collection of Modern Noh) from Yukio Mishima, and signed letters by Junichiro Tanizaki, Sennojo Shigeyama and Sengoro Shigeyama, as well as a photo collection presented by Opera singer Birgit Nilsson.

About 80 items showing Keene’s achievements over a long period of time

Racine’s tragedy Phèdre which Keene read in his youth to the point of knowing it by heart

Letter signed by Junichiro Tanizaki

Keene’s relationship with Yukio Mishima is also seen

On the opening day of the exhibition Keene was joined by Professor Emeritus Bunzo Torigoe (former Theatre Museum Director), with whom he formed a longtime friendship through Japanese classical research such as Monzaemon Chikamatsu. While passing through the exhibition with Torigoe, Keene said, “I was a disciple of Ryusaku Tsunoda, which makes me a disciple of Shoyo Tsubouchi’s disciple. I have a special relationship with Waseda University and it is a university which I love. I am deeply grateful that this exhibition could be held.”

Donald Keene Exhibition
May 21, 2013 (Tues) – August 4, 2013 (Sun)
Waseda University Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum Special Exhibition Room in honour of Nakamura Utaemon VI (1-6-1 Nishi-Waseda, Shinjuku Ward)
Official Site
Special Talk
July 17, 2013 (Wed) 14:45 – (doors open 14:15)
Ono Memorial Auditorium, Waseda University
Donald Keene and Bunzo Torigoe
Waseda University Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum