In Memoriam: Ronald Dore (1925-2018)

With great sadness, the Reischauer Institute notes the passing of Ronald Dore, the eminent British sociologist of Japan. Professor Dore’s research and writing on Japanese society, culture, and economy profoundly shaped inquiries into Japan’s postwar social transformation and institutions and made a lasting impact on subsequent generations of area studies scholars. Over the course of his academic career, Professor Dore’s intellectual focus spanned topics from rural land reform and urban life to factory management and educational achievement (including his pathbreaking 1965 book Education in Tokugawa Japan). Professor Dore’s approach remained consummately empirical and question-driven, seamlessly blending social science rigor with his deep knowledge of Japanese society. He spoke Japanese like a native speaker, and participated with ease in conferences held in Japan and elsewhere that were conducted exclusively in the Japanese language. In 1987, he was a Reischauer Institute Visiting Professor. Professor Dore returned to campus again in 1988 and 1989 to co-teach classes with Professors Ezra Vogel and Susan Pharr. In 1996, he delivered the Distinguished Visitor Lecture for the Weatherhead Center Program on U.S.-Japan Relations. Professor Dore’s long and rigorous engagement with Japan is a legacy that continues to enrich the field of Japanese studies to this day. We hold in great esteem his profound contributions as an academic, colleague, and generous mentor to younger scholars of Japan in the U.S. and around the world.