- A Memorial Tribute to Kenneth K. Inada
My first meeting with Kenneth I nada was in 1964, when I passed through Hawai‘i, on my way back from India, at the invitation of Charlie Moore, Editor of Philosophy East and West and Director of that summer’s East-West Philosophers’ Conference. Acting for Moore, who was ill at the time of my arrival, Ken, a member of the UH Philosophy faculty, was kind enough to take me on a tour of the UH-Manoa campus; he did so with considerable good will. I subsequently joined the department in 1967 and appreciated very much having Ken as a colleague. Although he left the University of Hawai‘i after ten years to join the faculty at the State University of New York in Buffalo in 1969, we had subsequent occasion to meet at several conferences around the world, most recently a few years ago in Bologna, Italy.
His sincerity, generosity, kindness — these qualities inspired the deepest respect in everyone who knew him. Ken was also modest about his own achievements, despite the fact that he was the recipient of numerous awards in his field. And it was only after knowing him for many years that I learned that he had been a member of the famed 442nd Infantry Battalion, and had seen wartime service in Europe in 1943–45.
Ken provided crucial early leadership to the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy and helped establish some of its core programs. His scholarly work on Buddhism was taken to be of the highest order, but perhaps more important was his being a living example of the very best of Buddhist teachings.
I have appreciated having Kenneth I nada as a valued colleague, and always welcomed news of his achievements. I have also very much appreciated being able to call him a personal friend, with whom I stayed in touch for 42 years with an exchange of Christmas cards that always included a cordial note from Ken and his lovely wife Masako. Though Ken’s path took him away from the islands, I think he was always “local” at heart. He will be missed deeply, but remembered for a very long time. [End Page 408]