Honoring the final wishes of former Ohio University Professor James C. Gilfert, the first Kohei Miura Visiting Professor to Chubu University, who passed away in 2013, a Spreading of Ashes Ceremony was held on the afternoon of November 29, 2023. Mr. Akihisa Hamabuchi, alumnus of Chubu University and Ohio University, attended as representative of the family.
Mr. Hamabuchi graduated from Chubu University’s College of Engineering, Department of Industrial Chemistry (now the Department of Applied Chemistry) and received a scholarship to study at the Ohio University Graduate School of Engineering in 1987. He then returned to Japan to complete his studies at Chubu University’s Graduate School of Engineering. After working for a Japanese subsidiary of an American company, he went back to study at the Graduate School of Ohio University, where he earned a Master of International Studies and a Master of Accounting. He is now a certified public accountant in New York, USA.
While at Chubu University, Mr. Hamabuchi studied English from Professor Gilfert’s daughter, Susan. He interacted with Professor Gilfert while in Graduate School at Ohio University, and since that time, he has held a close relationship with the Gilfert family. Mr. Hamabuchi came to Japan for this ceremony representing the family, including Professor Gilfert’s wife, Sara, and their daughter, Susan. The ceremony was held this year in conjunction with commemorative activities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the partnership between Chubu University and Ohio University.
The ceremony took place in the foyer of the Miura Kohei Memorial Hall and was attended by Chubu University administrators. Flowers were offered by the attendees and President Yoshimi Takeuchi gave a eulogy. Mr. Hamabuchi read a letter from the bereaved family and a letter of condolence was presented from Ohio University President, Dr. Lori Gonzalez. Afterwards, Professor Gilfert’s ashes were spread near the bust of the Chubu University founder, under two American dogwood trees donated by Ohio University in 1994 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the institutional partnership.
It was a heartfelt ceremony that connected many people in the U.S. and Japan in order to respond to the wishes of Professor Gilfert, who was one of the greatest contributors to the exchange between the two universities.
On November 28, Mr. Hamabuchi gave a lecture in the “Global English” class of the Department of English Language and Culture, and on November 29, at the Center for International Affairs, he gave a passionate talk to current students about his own experiences as a student and the difficulties he has faced since entering the workforce.