Hirano Kenichiro is Professor Emeritus of Tokyo University and of Waseda University, and Executive Director of Toyo Bunko (education and employment). He graduated from Tokyo University in 1961 and from 1963-67 studied at Harvard University in Regional Studies – East Asia and History and East Asian Civilizations. Professor Hirano received a graduate fellowship from the Harvard-Yenching Institute from 1964-67. He was an Assistant Professor at Sophia University from 1969-70, and an Associate Professor and Professor of international relations at the University of Tokyo from 1970 to 1998. Professor Hirano taught political science and public service at Waseda University from 1998-2008.
He was a president of the Japan Association for Asian Studies (JAAS) and the founding president of the Japan Society for Intercultural Studies. He served as Director-General of Japan Center for Asian Historical Records (JACAR), National Archives of Japan, from 2010 to 2014. Currently he is an executive director of the Toyo Bunko in charge of its newly opened museum.
His fields are international relations, the history of international relations in modern East Asia and international cultural relations. His major publications include International Cultural Relations, University of Tokyo Press, 2000 (in Japanese; Korean translation in 2004 and Chinese translation in 2010), A New East Asia: Toward a Regional Community, National University of Singapore Press, 2007 (co-editor) and Studies on the History of International Cultural Relations, University of Tokyo Press, 2013 (in Japanese; co-editor). Recently, he co-edited The List of Documents Filed at Wang Jing-wei Government’s Embassy in Japan held by the Toyo Bunko and contributed an annotation to a photocopy edition of John Saris’ The First Voyage of an Englishman to the Islands of Japan, 1617 published under the auspices of the Toyo Bunko.