[KS] Prof. Bruno Lewin ♱

Werner Sasse werner_sasse at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 26 04:33:49 EDT 2012

Professor Bruno Lewin, one of the founding members of AKSE and the father of Korean Studies in Germany, passed away on the 18th of June at the age of 87 years.Prof. Lewin had studied Russian and Japanese literatures and later devoted his energy to Japanese language and literature studies as well as Korean studies. During a research trip to Japan in his early years, when most people (incl. academics) still believed that Korea was only the backyard of Japan, he took a boat to Busan and hiked to Gyeongju. Having realized that Korea's, in those days underestimated, culture was an important voice in the East Asian orchestra, he wrote a number of groundbreaking books and articles about Korean language and history, as well as about the role of Korea for the cultural development of Japan.When he became founding professor for the East Asia Dept. of the newly established Ruhr U. at Bochum, he added Korean Studies to the curriculum.Profs Eikemeier/em. Tuebingen, Sasse/em. Hamburg, Dormels/Vienna, Huwe/Bonn, Haftmann/EUFH Brühl, Kneider/HUFS Seoul, lecturer Hoppmann/Bochum, are among his students, and I cannot add here the long list of Japanese Studies scholars in Germany who also were trained by Prof. Lewin. When the ministry offered to honor his achievements in research on Korean culture by adding Korean Studies to the official title of his chair, which was "Japanese Language and Literature", he turned the offer down in order not to stand in the way of establishing a full professorship in Korean Studies at Ruhr U. Bochum, which happened in 1988.A great scholar he was indeed, but maybe more important was that he was a shining example of how a scholar should also be a model combining serious scholarship, a deep humanity, and humor. His students can never forget his personal and academic wholeheartedness..Werner Sasse P.S. For those of you who had the chance to enjoy the hospitality of his private home or otherwise met with his wonderful wife, here is her current address:Elisen-Seniorenstift, Hofstraße 3, 70723 Hilden/Germany

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