Memorial event of Prof. Kazuko Inoue

Please join us for the memorial event of Prof. Kazuko Inoue (井上和子先生).

  • Location: International Conference Room (Dialogue House, ICU)
  • Time:  2 – 4 pm (Sun) May 28th, 2017

Tea and light meal will be served at the event.

This event is organized by ICU Linguistics Circle.


Condolences letters

It was with great sorrow that I heard of the passing of Kazuko Inoue, a good friend for many years, a wonderful linguist who leaves a most impressive legacy in her own work and in her central role in establishing the field in Japan.

We met 50 years ago when I was visiting Japan for lectures, along with my family.  Apart from the official side of the visit, in which of course Kazuko was the leading figure, she arranged an unforgettable tour for us, and accompanied us as we stayed in traditional Japanese inns (delighting my two young daughters as well) and many wonderful sites.  From then on Kazuko was a close friend of the whole family.

Whenever I had a chance to visit Japan, one of the highlights was a chance to spend some time with Kazuko.  On my last visit I asked her how she managed to stay so healthy and active.  She told me the secret is ten glasses of green tea every day — another word of wisdom.

She will be sorely missed, and never forgotten.

Noam Chomsky


I was much saddened to hear of the passing of Kazuko Inoue. The enormous presence of Inoue sensei in the establishment and growth of theoretical linguistic research in Japan and theoretical linguistic research on Japanese has only grown in recent years. I was never a student of Inoue sensei or a student or teacher at ICU. Every time I met Inoue sensei I was captivated, like everybody, by her charm and deep intelligence. But my real appreciation came after I returned to the U.S. In 1980 and read her two volume 1976 book 『変形規則と日本語」and her 1978 『日本語の文法規則」, both from Taishuukan. Those books lay out in a simple and thorough way what it would mean to develop  a true generative account of Japanese. They are also filled with gems of linguistic insight. They will always be on my shelf.
John Whitman
Department of Linguistics
Cornell University

It was spring 1983 I believe: Inoue Sensei had a new car that spoke to her in Japanese when something wasn’t right, say the trunk wasn’t closed. I learned about this at the end of an ICU day when she offered me a ride home. I hadn’t fully closed the passenger door, so a woman’s voice warned her about that. She laughed, “Even for a door, a woman has to use the honorific!”–evidence of her close attention to language as well as to gender issues. I thank her for that.

And I also thank her for inviting me to teach linguistics at ICU in the spring of 1983 and at Kanda University in the fall of 1997 and for the Labo roadshow of fall 1986. And for other opportunities, too numerous to list, to live linguistically and socially in Japan. These were all rich and rewarding experiences that I will always remember.

For me, Japan and Japanese linguistics will not be the same without her presence. Nevertheless, through her work and through the students that she nurtured, Inoue Sensei will live on.

Wayne O’Neil


I was very sorry to hear about Inoue-sensei’s passing.  I was lucky enough to meet her in 1998, when I came to Kanda University as a postdoc.  I could tell, from the respect and affection with which everyone around her was treating her, that I was meeting someone very important, but she wasn’t the kind of person to insist on her own importance, and it wasn’t until much later that I realized how much she had done, both to improve our understanding of Japanese and to establish generative linguistics in Japan.  I’m one of many people whose lives she changed for the better, and I’m very grateful to her.
Norvin Richards

2 thoughts on “Memorial event of Prof. Kazuko Inoue

  1. Pingback: WAFL 13 | WAFL 13

  2. Pingback: Memorial event of Prof. Kazuko Inoue | International Christian University Linguistics

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