Hans H. Baerwald, UCLA professor emeritus and an internationally known scholar of Japanese politics, died at his home in Pope Valley, Calif., on June 2 at the age of 82. He directed the UCLA Japan Research and Exchange Program, the predecessor of the UCLA Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, from the late 1970s until his retirement in 1990.
Born in Tokyo to a German businessman and his wife on June 18, 1927, Baerwald began a lifelong connection with Japan during his childhood, when he became fluent in Japanese while attending the American School in Japan. In 1940 the family immigrated to Berkeley, CA, He enrolled at UC Berkeley but left when he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he was posted to Government Section in Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters in Tokyo during the American occupation of Japan, participating in the political purge of Japanese leaders. He later wrote extensively about this tumultuous period.
After resuming his studies at UC Berkeley, he went on to receive his doctorate in political science, with a focus on Japan. He joined UCLA’s Department of Political Science in 1962. Among his many accomplishments, he directed UCLA’s Education Abroad Program Study Center in Tokyo. He was a generous benefactor to the university, making donations to the political science department and many other campus areas. In his memory, contributions may be made to the UCLA Foundation for the Hans Baerwald Graduate Fellowship in Japanese Studies: Contact Maura Resnick, (310) 825-6644, at the Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, UCLA International Institute, 11248 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487.
Original article posted to UCLA Today.
Published: Tuesday, June 15, 2010