Gathering held in memory of ICU Professor Emeritus Kiyoko Cho
Update: September 12, 2018
On Saturday afternoon, September 8, a gathering was held in memory of Kiyoko Cho (Takeda), professor emeritus and recipients of an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters who had committed her life to education and research since she was assigned to ICU in its founding year of 1953 and passed away in April 2018 at the age of 100. The gathering was organized by a group of volunteers and took place at ICU Dining Hall with the participation of approximately 230 participants, including family members of Professor Cho, her students from members of the inaugural class who were directly taught by her to current students who were influenced by her works, peer researchers, members of YWCA of Japan, Japan Soong Ching-ling Foundation, "Shisō no Kagaku (The science of thought)" Study Group and others who gathered to pay respect to professor Cho's achievements and remember her personality.
The gathering was divided in two sections: Part I "Prayers and Condolences" and Part II "Sharing Memories." In Part I, Mr. Morio Kuwagaya (CLA1) served as master of ceremonies, Mr. Junji Kitadai (CLA1) gave an opening address, and Mr. Isamu Munesue (CLA3) read verses 18-25 from "Epistle to the Romans Chapter 8" and verses 31-32 from "Gospel of John Chapter 8," then offered a prayer.
Following the prayer, former ICU President, Kunio Oguchi, ICU Professor Emeritus, M. William Steele and Ms. Hiroko Kubota, former director of Soong Ching-ling Foundation, each took the podium and gave a speech in memory of Professor Cho, respectively representing her researcher colleagues, her students and a Chinese NPO for maternal and child health and children's growth for which Professor Cho served as chairperson.
Mr. Hiroshi Kozawa (CLA4) who used to serve as an assistant to Professor Cho also gave a speech in memory of her life and works, sharing with the audience what he had learnt from her thoughts and academic works as he cited key words from her research themes and occasionally introducing humorous episodes about her.
In Part II, Ms. Kazuko Sekine (CLA4), who was also an assistant to Professor Cho, served as the mistress of ceremonies. As Part II opened, ICU Chair of the Board of Trustees, Kakutaro Kitashiro and ICU President Junko Hibiya respectively gave an address, expressing deep gratitude for Professor Cho's contributions she had made as a trustee and councilor of ICU and for the offer of donation from her family to support international students from Asia.
Professor Cho's son, Mr. Kohei Cho, looked back on her life as he showed some interesting photos of her. Among her many achievements, he shared episodes of her later years after she retired from her teaching post: the passion she poured into writing "Higher Education For Tomorrow, International Christian University and Postwar Japan," a record of ICU's history over half a century and how she continued holding the "History of Thoughts Seminar" into her very last years. He also touched her personal life and what kind of a person she was in the family.
After that, participants were introduced at each table. Many shared valuable words they received from Professor Cho at various occasions and expressed their deep gratitude.
Finally, Hideaki Kikuchi, Director of ICU Institute of Asian Cultural Studies closed the gathering by declaring "Respecting Professor Cho's contributions and will, we will continue to hold the Asian Forum inviting lecturers, many of whom are ICU graduates engaged in Asia and Japan studies, and continue to pursue how best ICU can achieve its missions."