The Bust of Professor Keiji Kokubu (1907-1997),
Honorary Citizen of Olympia, Placed at the Front Garden of the City Hall
of the Municipality of Olympia, Greece.
(Courtesy, City Government of Inazawa, Inazawa, Japan)
For many years Professor Kokubu taught philosophy at Nanzan University, Nagoya, Japan. He was a philosopher whose research interest lay in the study of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, St. Augustine and St. Aquinas in addition to the historical study of Greek vase paintings. In later years, he strongly advocated and emphasized reliance on tariki like Shinran, the great Buddhist reformer teaching tariki, before him. He immersed himself to the comparative study of Christianity and Buddhism, focusing attention specifically on St. Paul and Shinran.
Professor Kokubu had a life-long genuine passion for Greece and Greek people. In 1982, at the City Hall of Olympia, a ceremony was held creating him Honorary Citizen of Olympia. He played the crucially important role in successfully establishing the sister city relationship between Olympia and Inazawa. The signing of the sister city agreement was conducted in 1872. There is a bust today in his memory at the front garden of Olympia’s City Hall. The plaque placed below the bust reads, “Here lie the ashes of the philosopher Kokubu according to his last wishes”. As for his other photos available on the Web, see “The First Japanese We Met on our Trip was a Figure in Bust Form” (https://twitter.com/sabu_mikawaya/status/174500954509545473) and also “Sightseeing Greek Historic Ruins” (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:lazsrT6h41AJ:otomu.blog.eonet.jp/default/2009/11/post-9a33.html+%22%E5%9B%BD%E5%88%86%E6%95%AC%E6%B2%BB%22%E3%80%80&cd=59&hl=ja&ct=clnk&gl=jp&client=firefox-a).