Yesterday morning I got a message from a friend, with whom I had studied japanese at university, informing me of the passing of one of our japanese teachers. I was shocked to say the least, with only 60 years his passing in the last week came as a surprise. The funeral service was held yesterday but only announced a day before and I really wish I would have been able to go. Unfortunately yesterday my husband flew to Japan so by the time the service was held we were on our way to the airport. I hope that many people did have the chance to attend the service and show how much he was appreciated.
He wrote the whole learning material for our japanese lessons in university and every monday for the first two years he would come into the room with a smile and try to teach us japanese grammar. Even though we did manage to annoy him sometimes he never gave up his sunny mood and tried to make us laugh. Granted some of those might fall under the category “Dad-Jokes” but one couldn’t NOT smile. I remeber how he always said he was an “old half” as opposed to the “new half” from thailand. Maybe it’s this “old half”-ness that kept him looking so young (^_^)
He was born in Tokyo in 1953 and visited the german school there. From 1972 to 1979 he was student of the Japanese studies as well as German language and literature studies in Freiburg, Germany. He continued as a lector for Japanese at the same university till 1983, when he changed to the University Bochum. He was In 1986 he became the supervisor for japanese language at University Duisburg-Essen (In-East) and has been ever since. Only interrupted by a year as guest professor at the Dokkyo University, one of the partner universities and the very same where I spent my semester abroad and met my husband.
As it always is, I regret not having seen him a last time, but I can truly say I only have positive memories of him and am very grateful for his effort in teaching us the japanese language and more about japanese culture. He was the supervisor for the japanese language department since 1986 (nearly as long as I live) and I can only imagine how his colleagues must feel, who worked alongside him for many many years. It will not be the same without him.
I will always remeber him as one of my senseis and I’m sure it’s the same for everyone that studied East Asian-Studies under Rafael Beermann.