Introduction

by Richard M. Buxbaum, Dean of International and Area Studies

In the words of the 12th century Buddhist hermit, Kamo No Chomei: "The flow of the river is ceaseless and its water is never the same." For well over one hundred years Asian studies have been central to the teaching, research, and service missions of the Berkeley campus. Because of the foresight of University founders, Asian studies courses were offered soon after the University's inauguration.

Early programs concentrated on the languages, literatures, and histories of the region. They laid the foundation for the development, after World War II, of fullblown academic programs encompassing the humanities and social sciences, the natural and physical sciences, and the professional disciplines. In the last two decades the burgeoning economies of Asia have catapulted a once esoteric branch of knowledge to prominence throughout the University.

Berkeley's Asian programs consistently rate among the very best in the country and attract scholars and students from all over the world. Because of its location on the Pacific Rim, the campus shares a special kinship and lively interaction with the countries of Asia. The Asian community, desiring to preserve an ancient heritage and to promote a deeper understanding of the region's modern societies and cultures, has provided scholarly and professional expertise and an unprecedented measure of generous support for Berkeley's many Asian programs, which we are proud to represent through this splendid exhibit.

A Hundred Harvests: the History of Asian Studies at Berkeley pays tribute to the scholars and philanthropists who founded and continue to nurture the programs that enrich the University of California, Berkeley. Through the archival holdings and matchless library collections showcased in the exhibit the ceaseless flow of the river unfolds.

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