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トップページ研究者のエッセイ>研究者のエッセイ: Hiroshi Momose

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  • ■ ESSAY ON "PLAGIARISM": BLESSING "OPEN SOCIETY" IN INTERNATIONAL ACADEMIC COOPERATION

                            Hiroshi Momose
Once an epoch-making work discussing the development of IR study in Great Britain and the United States overviewed IR studies in other countries, for instance, describing those in Japan as a considerable mass of silence. The description meant that only few Japanese researchers were interested in academic communication with their potential colleagues in other countries. The situation has changed, particularly since, I believe, an increasing number of organizations like ours came into being. By looking back on the actual state of affairs I had experienced, however. I hope that I, as an old man, could serve you to any extent particularly in terms of developing effective international communication and academic cooperation.
I would like to start from my own experience. The book I wrote for the first time in my life dealt with the background for the Winter War fought by Finland in 1939‐1940 with the Soviet Union. Professor Okio Murase, well-known Japanese researcher of European history, especially of modern German history, kindly wrote a long review article on that my work. A young research fellow said to me: “Oh, Prof. Murase only admires your work! Doesn’t he?.” At the end of the article, however, Prof. Murase had written only shortly,: This writer should have written how his work was different from precedent Finnish writers’.” I remember I only turned pale! Prof. Murase wrote many textbooks, but never published any research monograph. He knew how it was next to impossible for a Japanese historian at that time to create an original product of her or his own research, for instance, unless the question was anyhow concerned with Japan.
It was only in the beginning of the 21st century that I thought I could respond to late Professor Murase’s demands, when I found my way to a new interpretation of postwar Finnish foreign policy by striking out the conception of “two way realism”. I used the conception in my analysis of President Paasikivi’s policy toward the Soviet Union, which was supported by Dr. Kujala, who used the very conception also in his analysis of President Kekkonen’s (Paasikivi’s successor’s) foreign policy. Paasikivi’s policy toward the Soviet Union had been appreciated for a long time as “realistic” by Finnish researchers in general. But, my careful reading of Paasikivi’s diary revealed that Paasikivi had been unsatisfied with the “realism” of Soviet origin, and that what he intended was to make the Soviet leaders realize Finns’ own realism. While unoccupied Finland under Paasikivi’s leadership, carried out what Zhdanov, the chairman of the Allied Control Commission, called “realistic”, Paasikivi never hid the will of Finnish nation, who would carry out unarmed resistance against a supposed Soviet occupation even in spite of considerable possible sacrifices. This “discovery” born out of my careful reading of Paasikivi’s Diary led to a Finnish scholar’s kind appreciation and his own contention that the same hypothesis could be applied to President Kekkonen’s political activity. I am now happy to believe that I could have now replied to late Professor Murase’s criticism!
Needless to say, however, it could never be called “plagiarism”, if one uses any part of some other writer’s expression or sentence with right notes or correct quotations. The notes only tell that the very expression or sentence had been originally used by some other writers.
Talking about plagiarism, however, I cannot but talk about really regrettable cases, which I have to call only “plagiarism.” The scene took place good many years ago. I participated in a ceremony which memorized the beginning of diplomatic relations between Japan and a European country. I contributed an article I wrote on the basis of archives to the festival. One day, a foreign scholar, drew my attention to an article of Japan Times carrying the very content of my article under the name of a foreign newspaperman! I could not realize even now how that man had obtained my manuscript. But, an idea struck me how amateur persons, regardless of their professions, officials or newspapermen, might be ignorant of rules prevailing in academic circles!
Apart from my own affairs, however, I can recall an unpleasant case showing how the conception of “plagiarism” was used abusively. I attended a meeting where a book based on a doctoral dissertation was discussed. The “reviewer” discussed the book in detail, which sounded very severe and changed the air of the room immediately. I still find it difficult to realize what the very reviewer’s intention was. From the very beginning to the last, he referred to the writer’s quotations, mentioning how the writer depended on foreign writers’ works. The case was not any of plagiarism, but his accusation sounded at least in my ears, as if he discussed plagiarism.
I have to confess that our Japan had once a surprising plagiarist. He was a famous professor, who was a kind gentleman, and took care of students. Only one problem was that he used others’ sentences and expressions arbitrarily. He had admitted it, saying, “I am tempted to use good expressions and ideas some others have created and used.” Nobody had accused him, because he had been such a good man. In his old age, he suddenly appeared on a newspaper. Some younger historian had leaked the matter to a newspaper man. That professor was apparently a victim in a closed academy of Japan!
However, I do not deny that plagiarists have come so often to Japan acrossing the Ocean. “Doctoral” candidates have once formed a group, for instance, to visit a Japanese researcher, to propose an idea of exchanging their English “source materials” for any records of interviews, for instance, with hibakusha in Hiroshima and / or in Nagasaki, though the attempt has failed so far. In my own opinion, such scandals could take pace, so far as the Japanese academy remain as “silent mass.”
[2015.12.27up]

事務局:Scholar Errant 編集委員会
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