International Symposium on the Introduction of Modern Science and Technology to Turkey and Japan, organised by the International Research Centre for Japanese Studies (Kyoto) and Turkish Society for History of Science, Istanbul, 8-11 October 1996

The international symposium on the Introduction of Modern Science and Technology to Turkey and Japan took place in IRCICA's premises on 7-11 October 1996 with the participation of Japanese and Turkish historians of science.

The inaugural ceremony took place on 8 October. Speeches were given by Prof.Dr. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, IRCICA Director General and President of the Turkish Society for History of Science, Prof. Dr. Yamada Keiji representing the Kyoto-based International Research Centre for Japanese Studies, and H.E. Mrs. Atsuko Toyama, Ambassador of Japan in Turkey.

IRCICA Director General in his welcoming address said that Japan and Turkey have always been the focus of interest of social scientists for their development and modernisation process, either as specific historical cases or as a topic of comparative studies. While Japan and Turkey had undertaken their science and technology policies with similar motivations prompted by the rapid industrialisation in the West, the two processes have followed different patterns. It is therefore a matter of interest and curiosity for researchers, and also laymen, to find out what the reasons of this difference are.

Prof. Yamada Keiji, Head of the History of Science Division of the International Research Centre for Japanese Studies, gave an address pointing out that both Turkey and Japan underwent modernisation and westernisation at approximately the same time and that a comparative study of these two countries would prove extremely fruitful for the development of studies in history of science. The Ambassador of Japan Mrs. Atsuko Toyama underlined the importance of the symposium in bringing together scholars of the two countries in a joint academic gathering that would promote the exchange of ideas on a subject of common interest.

Six sessions were held during the symposium, with paper presentations by Turkish and Japanese scholars at each session. The working sessions started with the presentation of two keynote speeches, by Yamada Keiji on modern science and technology in Japan during the 18th and 19th centuries and by Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu on the relations between the Ottoman State and the West in the fields of science and technology and their impact on the industrialisation process. The following papers were presented under the session themes:

Session 1: Technology I - Industry

Nakaoka Tetsuro, From Shipbuilding to Automobile Manufacturing;
Donald Quataert, The introduction of Modern Technology in Ottoman Industry during the 18th and 19th Centuries

Session 2: Technology II - Communication and Transportation

Shirahita Yozaburo, The Modernisation of Transport and Communication in Japan;
Orhan Koloğlu, Ottoman Modernisation in the Fields of Transportation and Communication

Session 3: Scientific Literature

Sakai Shizu, Translations and the Origins of Western Science in Japanese;
Emre Dölen, Ottoman Scientific Literature during the 18th and 19th Centuries

Session 4: Scientific Educational Institutions

Yoshida Tadashi, Educational Systems for Training Scientists and Engineers in Meiji Japan;
Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, Changes in Ottoman Educational Life and Efforts Towards Modernisation in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Session 5: Standardisation

Hashimoto Takehiko, The Introduction of the Metric System in Modern Japan;
Feza Günergun, Standardisation in Ottoman Turkey

Session 6: General Discussion

İbrahim Öztürk, Two Pioneers of Modern Economic Thought in Japan and the Ottoman Empire: Fukuzawa Yukichi and Ahmed Mithat Efendi;
Selçuk Esenbel, Remarks on the Modernisation of Turkey and Japan in the 18th and 19th Centuries;
Kuriyama Shigehisa, Concluding Remarks.