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Pre-July 2009 Press Archives

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9/30/2004 Japanese samurai topic of faculty lecture

McMINNVILLE – John Sagers, assistant professor of history at Linfield College, will speak on "The Last Samurai: Confucian and Capitalists in Nineteenth Century Japan" as a part of the Linfield faculty lecture series Wednesday, Oct. 13, at 7:30 p.m. in 201 Riley Hall.

Sagers, a member of the Linfield faculty since 2001, will discuss the moral problems that Japan’s samurai warrior elite faced in reconciling capitalist concepts of private property and the pursuit of individual interests with long accepted Confucian values of loyalty and selfless service.

“There was considerable nostalgia for the old warrior virtues,” said Sagers. “But many samurai in the 1860s and 1870s were surprisingly eager to end their own class’ privileged status and pursue new careers in manufacturing and commerce.”

Sagers’ interest in Japanese studies is reflected in his education and career. He earned a master’s of Pacific International Affairs from the University of California at San Diego and a Ph.D. in Japanese history from the University of Washington. He was also a Fulbright Fellow at Rikkyo University in Tokyo from 1998-1999.

Sagers’ work has been published in “Education about Asia” and the “Encyclopedia of Capitalism.” He is currently working on a book, "The Intellectual Roots of Japanese Capitalism."

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Linfield College Faculty lecture series offers one presentation each month by a member of the Linfield faculty. For more information, call 503-883-2409.