News

Japan’s consul general commends PSU professor Ken Ruoff for strengthening bonds between Japan and U.S.
Author: Chris Broderick, University Communications
Posted: December 18, 2014

Portland State University history professor and Japan scholar Ken Ruoff has been awarded the Consul General of Japan’s Commendation for outstanding achievement in contributing to the promotion of friendship and understanding between Japan and other nations.

Consul General Hiroshi Furusawa presented the award on Dec. 10 at a ceremony at the Hilton Portland Hotel as part of the annual “Japan Day” celebration organized by the consular office.

Ruoff directs the Center for Japanese Studies at PSU. The consul general cited Ruoff’s work with the center and his books, “Imperial Japan at its Zenith” (Cornell University Press 2010) and “The People’s Emperor: Democracy and the Japanese Monarchy, 1945-1995” (Harvard East Asian Monographs 2001), in recognizing him as “the leading Western authority on the imperial house in Japan.”

“Dr. Ruoff’s scholarship and leadership deeply enrich the cultural landscape of Portland as well as informing the community and strengthening the bonds of affection between Japan and the United States,” Counsel General Furusawa said.

Ruoff’s most recent book, which received an Oregon Book Award, examined how Japan’s cult of the emperor fueled support for the militarism that set the stage for the Pearl Harbor attack and World War II. His earlier book, which received the Osaragi Jiro Prize, Japan’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, examined the postwar politics and culture of the imperial monarchy.

Ruoff, who has been on the PSU faculty since 1999, was a visiting Fulbright Fellow at Japan’s Kyoto University in 2004 and a research fellow and lecturer at Hokkaido University from 1994-96.

Photo: Japan Consul General Hiroshi Furusawa presents commendation for outstanding achievement to Dr. Ken Ruoff, director of the Center for Japanese Studies at Portland State University, at Dec. 10 ceremony as the Hilton Portland.