What is Haraguchi Memorial Asia Research Fund

The Haraguchi Memorial Asia Research Fund is a research fund offered through Waseda University with the goal of supporting research on Southeast Asia, and Indonesia in particular.  It was established by a generous bequest from Ms. Uta HARAGUCHI, Honorary Donor of Waseda University.

Uta was born in Taipei on January 18th 1920 as the third daughter of Takejiro HARAGUCHI, former professor of Waseda University, and Shigewo HARAGUCHI. In order to pursue education in Japan, Uta left her father and returned to Japan with her mother and sisters in 1929. She entered Seijyo Elementary School, and later transferred to Yamatani Elementary School, from which she graduated. She matriculated to Futaba Educational Institution and graduated from the Department of Instrumental Music at the Tokyo University of the Arts with a degree in piano.
 After the end of WWII, Uta achieved fame as a pianist and gave a recital at Waseda University’s Okuma Auditorium in the fall of 1950. In 1955 Thomas Mann became her sponsor and she studied in Switzerland for 1 year. At this time she was featured in a newspaper article as well.
 After returning from Switzerland Uta became a professor at the Department of Piano at Kunitachi College of Music, where she trained many generations of aspiring musicians. After retirement she became an emeritus professor. She passed away on August 9th, 2009 at the age of 89. Her Baptismal name is Cecilia, and she rests in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Tokyo.

Uta’s father, Takejiro; 1882-1951 was born in Saga Prefecture, the same prefecture where Marquis Shigenobu OKUMA, founder of Waseda University was born. Takejiro became the first representative of the graduating students at the School of Literature and he gave the address to the graduating class in 1905. After graduation he received a scholarship to study in Europe and the United States for 3 years. He is one of Waseda University’s best and brightest graduates, and helped lay the foundation for Waseda’s future development. Although Takejiro left Waseda together with Ikuo OYAMA and Ryutaro NAGAI, this was due to his involvement in the “Waseda Riots” during the Taisho Era. After leaving Waseda he became the Government-general Superior officer in Taiwan and Director of the Statistics Section. After his retirement in 1936 he engaged in trading and mining in Dutch East Indies (presently Indonesia), and after WWII he became an advisor to the Embassy of the Netherlands, which he served as until the end of his eventful life. Uta deeply respected her father Takejiro, and as she remained single during her life, after the war she took care of her father by herself at her house in Aoyama. Takejiro’s connection with Waseda University came full circle at the end of his life. In addition to sharing their home prefecture of Saga, Takejiro shares another fateful connection with Marquis OKUMA, founder of Waseda: The “16th of February”, which is Marquis OKUMA’s date of birth, is also Mr. HARAGUCHI’s death day.

The proposal for the Haraguchi Memorial Fund bequest from Uta to Waseda University developed in the following way: Professor emeritus Kenichi GOTO of Waseda University (former professor at the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies) described Takejiro as a “Pioneer of Southern Region Studies” and he wrote a critical biography about Takejiro. From 1984 Professor emeritus GOTO visited Uta’s house in Aoyama often. He learned about her father and he received a lot of materials from her. The outcome of his research was published as “The Life of Haraguchi Takejiro” by Waseda University Press in 1987.

During the publishing process, Uta strongly wished to donate her father’s property to contribute to future research on Indonesia, which is a place in connection with her father and also Professor emeritus GOTO’s research area. According to her Last Will and Testament, she thus instructed that the property to be donated to Waseda University, Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies (formerly known as the Institute of Social Sciences). Uta passed away at 89 years old on August 9, 2009, and the property was offered as a testamentary contribution to Waseda University according to her Will. Waseda University accepted it in October, 2010 and established the “Haraguchi Memorial Asia Research Fund” in January 2011.