脳科学者の茂木健一郎氏がイギリスの教育雑誌で発表した論文で目にした「Meiji Restoration」の意味とは?

偶然目にした脳科学者の茂木健一郎さんのブログ記事『Times Higher Educationに、私のエッセイが掲載されるまでの顛末記。』(2013年1月)を読んで気になったので、Times Higher Education の原文記事を読んでみました。

Ken Mogi

(By Joi (Kenichiro Mogi on Flickr – Photo Sharing!) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


The Meiji Restoration of 1867 brought modernisation to Japan.



“Meiji Restoration” は「明治維新」のことです。

Meiji Restoration | Dictionary.com

Meiji Restoration: A turning point in Japanese history in 1868 when the last shogun was overthrown and the emperor assumed direct control over the nation. The following Meiji Period (1868–1912) was marked by Japan’s opening to the West and the establishment of a strong centralized government.


“restoration” 自体は「修復」「返還」などの意味があります。

restoration | Macmillan Dictionary

  1. [COUNTABLE/UNCOUNTABLE] the process of putting something such as a piece of art or a building back into its original condition so that it looks cleaner and better
  2. [COUNTABLE/UNCOUNTABLE] the act of returning something that was lost, stolen, or removed
  3. [UNCOUNTABLE] [COMPUTING] the process of returning the original software programs to a computer after it has been repaired





まず前置きの後、茂木さんが寄稿した Times Higher Education が毎年発表する世界大学ランキングにおいて、東京大学が27位であったことが述べられています。

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings put the University of Tokyo, Japan’s highest-placed university, in 27th position. But of the five criteria evaluated by THE – teaching, research, citations, industry income and international outlook – Tokyo’s score for the final measure is disproportionately poor. This is symptomatic of deeper concerns.



The Meiji Restoration of 1867 brought modernisation to Japan. The new government, keen to learn from and catch up with the West, established European-style universities. Tokyo was among the first and has been considered Japan’s most prestigious academic institution.

At first, lectures at Tokyo were delivered in English and other major European languages, then efforts were undertaken to update the native tongue so that they could be given in Japanese. Many new terms created in this process (including expressions corresponding to “science”, “society” and “economy”) enriched the language, making it possible to conduct teaching and research in Japanese, especially in the humanities.


Modern Japanese universities started as machinery to import Western science, technology and culture. The fact that they were largely successful is evidenced by the nation’s rapid modernisation. When the rules of the game change, however, resources accumulated in the past become obstacles, not assets.


The closed nature of Japanese universities in linguistic terms could be the cause of the nation’s economic slump. In order to create high-tech devices in the web era, it is necessary to organically integrate knowledge from many fields. Graduates of Japanese universities are unable to tap into the potentially lucrative integration of today’s state-of-the-art disciplines because the linguistic divide between the natural sciences (English-oriented for papers) and the humanities (Japanese-oriented) makes it difficult to communicate beyond borders.


  1. カリフォルニア工科大学(California Institute of Technology
  2. オックスフォード大学(University of Oxford)(同率2位)
  3. スタンフォード大学(Stanford University)(同率2位)
  4. ハーバード大学(Harvard University
  5. マサチューセッツ工科大学(Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  6. プリンストン大学(Princeton University
  7. ケンブリッジ大学(University of Cambridge
  8. インペリアル・カレッジ・ロンドン(Imperial College London
  9. カリフォルニア大学バークレー校(University of California, Berkeley
  10. シカゴ大学(University of Chicago
  11. エール大学(Yale University)
  12. チューリッヒ工科大学(ETH Zürich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich
  13. カリフォルニア大学ロサンゼルス校 / UCLA(University of California, Los Angeles
  14. コロンビア大学(Columbia University
  15. ペンシルベニア大学(University of Pennsylvania
  16. ジョンズ・ホプキンス大学(Johns Hopkins University
  17. ユニバーシティ・カレッジ・ロンドン(University College London
  18. コーネル大学(Cornell University
  19. ノースウエスタン大学(Northwestern University
  20. ミシガン大学(University of Michigan
  21. トロント大学(University of Toronto
  22. カーネギーメロン大学(Carnegie Mellon University
  23. デューク大学(Duke University
  24. ワシントン大学(University of Washington
  25. テキサス大学オースティン校(University of Texas at Austin)(同率25位)
  26. ジョージア工科大学(Georgia Institute of Technology)(同率25位)
  27. 東京大学(University of Tokyo)


ビデオでは、Times Higher Education の編集長フィル・バティー(Phil Baty)さんが「今後はアジアの大学に注目」と言っていたのも気になりました。



ちなみに、このランキングは、”Teaching”(30%)、”International outlook”(7.5%)、”Industry income”(2.5%)、”Research”(30%)”Citations”(30%)の5つの基準をもとに決定されています。5つの基準に分かれているとはいえ、「教育」「研究」「論文引用」が特に重視されているようです。