Chairperson of Tokyo Metropolitan University Public University Corporation
Economist Haruo Shimada currently serves as the chairperson of the Tokyo Metropolitan University Public University Corporation. He also runs Shimada-Juku, a workshop for managers, and Shimada-Sonjuku, a training program for young entrepreneurs.
He was born in Tokyo in 1948. He studied at Keio University-affiliated schools starting during junior high school, and after graduating from the Faculty of Economics at Keio University he studied abroad in the U.S. He earned his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. He’s served on numerous government commissions and committees, including as a specially appointed advisor of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. He’s also served as an officer at numerous major companies, and he has broad connections in government and finance. He maintains a broad international network of connections, and he is actively involved in various programs. His hobbies include painting, singing, traveling, swimming, golf, and skiing.
I first became interested in, and visited, Koyasan when I came to know Wakayama Prefecture governor Yoshinobu Nisaka and deputy head of the prefecture’s office in Tokyo, Kagari Hine. As a result, I learned an enormous amount about the history, nature, and cultural legacy of Wakayama Prefecture. Recently, I’ve incorporated the great tangible and intangible cultural legacy of Buddhism, for example at Kongobu-ji Head Temple, as a required course at Shimada-Sonjuku, my workshop for young entrepreneurs. Students also regularly visit Koyasan, where they stay at temple Shukubo lodgings and hear talks by chief priests.
When I visit Koyasan, I'm aware of the growing numbers of Western visitors who are mixed in with Japanese pilgrims, and I believe that this trend is evidence that a growing number of people around the world are undertaking a serious study of the cultural value of the high ideals and deep thought of Japanese Buddhism as built by Kukai.
It is my hope that more and more people will come to understand Koyasan and that this understanding will contribute to the permanence of humankind and global society.