Professor Emeritus Hiroshi Ogura of the Faculty of Foreign Studies’ Department of French Studies, who will be retiring at the end of academic year 2019, gave his last lecture on Wednesday, January 22nd. Titled “French as my life’s work and my understanding of the language,” he shared about how he first learned French, and presented some of his research.
Professor Emeritus Ogura graduated from KUFS’s Department of French Studies in 1970. He was one of the first graduating class of our university’s Graduate School of Foreign Studies when he enrolled in 1971 and obtained a master’s degree. Later, after two year of studying in Switzerland, he joined KUFS as an academic staff in 1978.
“I need to find answers to the questions I have about the French language on my own.” Although he was a very determined researcher, things took a quick turn in 2003 when he suffered a brain hemorrhage. He underwent four surgeries while on the verge of life and death. After being discharged from the hospital, he quit his hobby of drinking alcohol, and wrote his doctoral thesis that was approximately 560,000 characters long (handwritten on 1,400 sheets of 400-character Japanese manuscript papers), which awarded him his doctoral degree in 2005. He is living proof of our university’s mission to have an indomitable spirit.
The lecture was attended by approximately 40 listeners, including current students, faculty and staff, and graduates. Professor Emeritus Ogura was showered with a loud, warm applause as he finished his lecture with, “I hope that you’ll also learn languages like Italian and Spanish since their origins are similar with the French language, and strive to become multilingual.”