Doctor of Humane Letters
A lawyer and professor of law, a scholar,
teacher, and administrator at a distinguished university, Minoru Oya has focused
his considerable legal talents on analyzing
criminal responsibility in relation to criminal punishment. Yet his concerns
have been not only in the abstract theories related to this profound subject,
but also in the practical questions of how to protect the rights of individuals.
In addition, he has served since April 2001 as chancellor of The Doshisha,
providing a unifying force for a rapidly expanding and changing institution.
As Oya himself has said, The Doshisha has taken a “very long journey” since
1875, when Amherst’s President Julius Seelye assisted Niijima Jo, a young
Amherst graduate, in the founding of a small Academy for English Studies with
two teachers and eight students. Now a respected educational and research institution
with 36,000 students, it occupies four campuses and comprises 11 schools (including
a women’s college, a kindergarten, and the university). Chancellor Oya
has been active in ensuring continued close connections between The Doshisha
and Amherst College, encouraging faculty and students from Amherst to pursue
study and research in Kyoto, and helping Doshisha faculty conduct research
leaves in Amherst.
Even while serving as a university administrator, Chancellor Oya has remained
active in the law. The author of numerous professional articles and three books
(Treatment of Mental Illness and the Law; An Introduction to Criminal Law;and Mental
Behavior and the Law), Chancellor Oya is active in many academic
and social organizations—among them the Kyoto Center to Aid Victims of
Crime and the World Research Center for Human Rights Issues. His work reflects
his deep personal commitment to assisting victims of crime, protecting human
rights, educating the public in criminal jurisprudence, law, and mental health
and welfare, and enacting national legislation to support these causes. In
the 1990s, the Japanese government recognized his many contributions by appointing
him an advisor to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Justice.
Always described as a considerate man, devoted to his wife of many years and
to his three grown sons, he has at times been an avid baseball player, and
remains a fan of the Hanshin Tigers.
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