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Ceremony for the 150th Anniversary of the Department of Chemistry

  • Public Relations Committee
Figure 1

Lecture by Professor Eiichi Nakamura (above)
Toast by Professor Emeritus Shizuo Fujiwara (below)

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Department of Chemistry, School of Science, a ceremony was held on Sunday 27th November 2011 at the Tokyo Garden Palace.

The Chemistry Department has deep roots in the Institute for Western Learning called Bansho Shirabesho in Tokyo, which was established in 1861. The year 2011 marked the 150th anniversary since its foundation. Over 300 scientists, researchers, teachers and managers associated with the department participated in the ceremony followed by a lecture session and a concert. The event started with an opening speech delivered by Prof. Shu Kobayashi, Head of the Department. This was followed by more speeches from Yoichiro Matsumoto (Vice President of the University of Tokyo), Yasuhiro Iwasawa (President of the Chemical Society of Japan), Kenji Fujiyoshi (Chairman of Japan Chemical Industry Association), and Tomihisa Ikeura (Managing Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation). Then a video of the 150-years history of the Chemistry Department was shown. Later on, there were three lectures entitled:

  • "With sincere thanks and expectations"
    by怀Saburo Nagakura (former president of the Japan Academy)
  • "Let us explore a new land of chemistry"
    by Eiichi Nakamura (Professor, Department of Chemistry)
  • "Chemistry in time and space"
    by Hiro-o Hamaguchi (Professor, Department of Chemistry)

After the lectures, there was a concert by Toko Kawagoe (soprano) and Tomomi Hosokawa (piano), which was thoroughly enjoyed by all the participants. The ceremony gave the participants an excellent opportunity not only to learn about the state-of-the-art chemical technology that enables them to see the future of chemistry, but also to enjoy music to their heart's content.

Toshio Yamagata, Dean of the School, then made a brief speech offering congratulations on the 150th anniversary of the Department of Chemistry, and Shizuo Fujiwara, professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo, proposed a toast. Finally, the participants had the opportunity to socialize themselves in a relaxed atmosphere. The venue was filled with conversations that renewed old friendships, the ceremony and the celebration gradually wound down while the participants were still enjoying themselves finishing off a fantastic day of education and festivities.

This ceremony has been registered as one of the events for the International Year of Chemistry 2011.