Wednesday, January 15, 2020
I am delighted to announce that the Humanities Division has received a $25 million gift from Tadashi Yanai, the chair, president and CEO of Japan-based Fast Retailing and founder of clothing company Uniqlo. The funds will endow the Tadashi Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities, elevating UCLA’s status as a leading center for the study of Japanese literature, language and culture.
The gift is the largest from an individual donor in the history of the Division. A previous donation of $2.5 million from Mr. Yanai in 2014 created the Yanai Initiative, a collaboration between UCLA and Waseda University, one of Japan’s most prestigious universities. The program supports academic and cultural programming and enables student and faculty exchanges between the two universities.
The Yanai Initiative is housed in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and directed by Professor Michael Emmerich. The latest gift will fund and permanently establish an endowed chair in Japanese literature and will fund conferences, public lectures, faculty research, cultural performances and community outreach. It will support graduate and postdoctoral fellowships and undergraduate awards.
The gift also triggers matching funds from the Humanities Centennial Match and the UCLA Centennial Scholars Match to support UCLA graduate students in Japanese humanities and other areas of study.
Mr. Yanai’s gift is a visionary investment in a field of increasing interest to humanities scholars, students and people everywhere. It will bring new attention to a rich culture that has captured people’s imaginations for centuries.
I am profoundly grateful for such generous support.
Division of Humanities