About Tokyo Tech

Interviews Hitotsubashi University President Yamauchi

President of Hitotsubashi University, Susumu Yamauchi and President of Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yoshinao Mishima

Leaders in Japan Discuss the Qualities of Globally Competitive Human Resources. Educating Human Resources to Solve Social Challenges through Collaborative Efforts in Bunri Kyomei

Bunri Kyomei, which refers to a resonant interplay between the sciences and the humanities, is a concept created by President Yamauchi, who proposes the resolution of social issues through the use of science and technology for the continued advancement of industry and the betterment of society. This is to be accomplished by communication and collaboration among individuals in the fields of the humanities and the sciences.

As an initiative toward realizing this concept, Hitotsubashi University joined forces to educate Bunri Kyomei Top Leaders in collaboration with Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) in October 2012.

In this article, President Yamauchi exchanges his thoughts concerning the education of globally competitive human resources with Yoshinao Mishima, who was appointed President of Tokyo Tech in October 2012.

These distinguished leaders both enjoyed playing baseball during their childhood. Ranging from such memories to the ideal state of university education, their lively discussion demonstrates their enthusiasm about improving education.

Mentally and Physically Disciplined Through Baseball

President of Hitotsubashi University, Susumu YamauchiSusumu Yamauchi
President of
Hitotsubashi University

Yamauchi The Confederation of Four Universities consisting of Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo Tech, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, and Tokyo University of Foreign Studies has joined forces in academic collaboration through initiatives such as credit transfer systems and mutual education programs. And recently our universities have taken the next step to produce Bunri Kyomei Top Leaders through our joint running of Tokyo Tech's Academy for Global Leadership program, which was selected by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as part of its Program for Leading Graduate Schools. I look forward to strengthening our collaborative relationship in the future.

Mishima As do I.

Yamauchi First, I would like to give our readers an idea of who Yoshinao Mishima is. You've really loved baseball since your childhood, haven't you?

Mishima Yes, I've loved baseball for as long as I can remember. I was so enthusiastic about baseball that I formed a team when I was in the third grade and made uniforms. We played games against other teams on a baseball field that we were allowed to use. I joined the baseball team when I entered Musashi Junior High School and was lucky enough to become the pitcher I'd hoped to be. I continued to play baseball in high school, but I was so preoccupied with baseball that my grades started to drop. [Laughter]. I started to put more effort into my studies in my second year in high school. But, even today, I still love baseball.

Yamauchi Which team are you a fan of right now?

Yoshinao Mishima President of Tokyo Institute of TechnologyYoshinao Mishima
President of
Tokyo Institute of Technology

Mishima The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. Even though I was born and raised in Tokyo, my favorite from childhood was the Nankai Hawks. That was a time when greats like Katsuya Nomura and Tadashi Sugiura played. I've been a Hawks fan since then.

Yamauchi Indeed, we're from the same generation. In fact, I spent most of my childhood playing baseball. My friends also got together to make teams and played against each other. Kids back then were so obsessed with playing baseball that it was hard to find a spot to play.[Laughter]. We did manage to find fields for games but my team wasn't any good at all, so we hardly ever won. However, losing did have a bright side. I was able to accept that winning and losing are parts of life, and thereafter I never give up even when things don't go as planned for whatever reason. Is there anything that you've learned from your experience playing baseball?

Mishima I think I learned the importance of playing as a team. The third baseman would come over to offer encouragement when I found myself in trouble on the pitcher's mound. That's the great thing about team sports.

Yamauchi That also pertains to running a university.

Mishima That's true. The summer training camps also trained the mind and the body. We had field practice all day long under the hot sun. The moment I thought we were finished for the day, we had to run around the field 50 times. It was absolutely horrendous. [Laughter]. All I have to do is think of those days whenever I have to confront something difficult and nothing is as bad as that.

Aiming to be a Leading University in the World