In Memoriam: Makoto Ueda, 1931-2020

September 21, 2020 by Rebecca Mangra

The EAS Department regrets to announce that Professor Emeritus Makoto Ueda died on August 19, 2020. Professor Ueda, a specialist in Japanese poetry and literature, taught in the department from 1961-1971. He left to teach at Stanford University, where he remained until his retirement in 1996.

Makoto Ueda.
Professor Emeritus Makoto Ueda

Professor Ueda came to the University of Toronto at a critical juncture. The department was beginning to grow beyond its origins in the study of Chinese antiquities at the Royal Ontario Museum, and Ueda was responsible for developing all aspects of the Japanese program. He also served as the Associate Chair of the department from 1969-1971. In addition to his administrative accomplishments, he published pathbreaking books on Japanese poetry, including Zeami, Bashō, Yeats, Pound: A Study in Japanese and English Poetics (1965) and the much-cited study, Matsuo Bashō (1970). He also wrote a foundational work on Literary and Art Theories of Japan (1967).

During his time at the University of Toronto, Professor Ueda had the rare opportunity to tour the emperor of Japan’s brother, Prince Mikasa, and his family around the St. George campus as an eminent representative from Japan.

Interim Chair, Professor Thomas Keirstead, took classes with him at Stanford University in the early 1980s. He remembers Ueda as a devoted teacher with an incisive wit.

He enjoyed his time as a professor at the University of Toronto and the EAS Department is deeply grateful for his many contributions.  

If you’d like to learn more about Professor Ueda’s life and legacy, and how to donate to his memorial, please read the obituary written by his family.