Toastmasters International District 76

Toastmasters International District 76 Japan Communication and Leadership Program since 1924

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Communication Leadership Award

Communication Leadership Award 2012 - Prof. Donald Keene

The first communication and leadership awarding ceremony was held at the All Japan Fall Conference conducted by Toastmasters International District 76 (Japan) at Kawasaki City Industrial Promotion Hall on November 17, 2012.

Dr. Donald Keene, a professor emeritus at Columbia University, received the 2012 Communication and Leadership Award, as put out the media release on October 26.

This award is presented annually by Toastmasters International District 76 (Japan) to a Speaker and/or a Communicator in our society who is not a member of Toastmasters, but highly influential in the areas of communication and leadership. Dr. Keene announced his decision to move permanently to Tokyo and to encourage the people in Japan after the Great East Japan Earthquake 2011. District 76 Governor Kazuko Kawauchi extended her heartiest congratulations and said that she was encouraged by his words (communication) and actions(leadership).

Dr. Keene delivered a wonderful speech grasping the significance of the award.

From the left, Michael Notaro, DTM, Immediate Past International President, Dr. Donald Keene, Kazuko Kawauchi, DTM, District 76 Governor, and Kiminari Azuma, DTM, Chair of C&L Award Committee

(Summary of the speech by Dr. Keene)

I would like to talk about Charter Oath of Five Articles as pronounced at the enthronement of Emperor Meiji. It was a speech that as changed Japanese history. He was a fifteen- or sixteen-year young when he gave it. Though the speech manuscript was made by some academics, Dr Keene that there was deep meaning in who said those words. Even in early days of the Meiji Era, Japan was still closed off to the world and excluded all foreign things. For Dr. Keene the most important thing of the Oath was the statement that Japan will be gather the wisdom knowledge of the world. The Oath had led various parts of Western culture to seep into Japan after years of national seclusion and this was a driver for Japan to become a modernized nation state. If he had not delivered it at that time, Japan would continue to be sealed off to the outside world and possibly there would further out break of civil wars. Therefore, Dr. Keene thought that Emperor Meiji’s courage and statements were an example communication speech of changing history.

About 450 Toastmasters and visitors were impressed to listen to his address and gave generous applause to Dr. Donald Keene.

Center, Dr. Donald Keene at the awarding ceremony, Kawasaki City Industrial Promotion Hall, November 17, 2013.




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