Professor Emeritus Momota Kawasaki, a pioneer researcher of the Portuguese missionary Luís Fróis, passed away on September 30th. He was 104.
Professor Emeritus Kawasaki was born in Yamaguchi Prefecture. He went to Brazil in 1930, and after graduating with a degree in philosophy from a university in Anchieta, he returned to Japan in 1955 and became a priest at the Catholic Kawaramachi Church. He then joined KUFS’s Department of Brazilian and Portuguese Studies as an assistant, before he was appointed as a professor in 1975. After 17 years of professorship, he was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus in 1992.
Professor Emeritus Kawasaki specialized in linguistics and historical science. From 1977 to 1980, he translated all twelve volumes of the “History of Japan” by Luís Fróis (co-translated with Kiichi Matsuda and published by Chuokoronsha). Because of his outstanding achievement, he was awarded the 29th Kikuchi Kan Prize and also received an honorable mention at the 35th Mainichi Publishing Culture Award in 1981. He was the pioneer researcher of Fróis and in 2015, at 100 years old, he published a culminative book of his lifework “Now that my journey with Fróis has come to an end” (published by Sangaku Publishing Co., Ltd.)
Professor Emeritus Kawasaki will always remain in our hearts. May he rest in peace.