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Japan Revealed: Juniata Chemist to Lecture on Edo Period

(Posted April 4, 2005)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Ei-Ichiro Ochiai, professor emeritus of chemistry at Juniata College, will talk on "A Sustained Society: Japan of the Edo Period -- A Great Experiment of Sustainability or a Cultural Analysis Lesson?" at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 13 in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus as part of the Bookend Seminar Lecture Series.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Bookend Seminar series features afternoon lectures each month by Juniata College faculty.

Ochiai, a native of Japan, will discuss how Japan sustained its quality of life and population during the Edo period, which lasted from about 1600 to 1868. During that era, Japan closed itself completely to the outside world, preferring not to trade or import resources from other nations.

Ochiai will discuss how Japan sustained itself entirely on renewable resources (plant life) and renewable energy available on the land. "They maintained a high level of population -- about 30 million -- but simultaneously improved the environment making the soil more fertile and increasing forests," he says. He also will talk about how Japan's culture -- arts, theatre, literature and mathematics -- flourished during the same period.

Ochiai earned a bachelor's degree, master's degree and doctorate from the University of Tokyo. He joined the Juniata faculty as an associate professor in 1981. Before coming to Juniata, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State University, and taught at University of Tokyo and the University of British Columbia as an instructor. He has taught as a visiting professor at the University of Umea, Sweden and the University of Toronto.

With special interests in bioinorganic chemistry and nonlinear dynamics, Dr. Ochiai has written four books and more than 100 papers and articles. He is a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Association of the Advancement of Science.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.