Memorial for Robert Scalapino set for Dec. 10

A memorial service for Robert A. Scalapino, an East Asia scholar and political science professor at the University of California, Berkeley, has been set for 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, in the Great Hall of UC Berkeley’s Faculty Club.

Family, friends, faculty, staff and students are invited to celebrate Scalapino’s life and contributions. 

Scalapino died on Nov. 1 at age 92. He was a leading expert in Japan studies and advised three American presidents and numerous governmental groups on foreign policy relating to Asia. Scalapino also edited Asian Survey, the seminal journal of contemporary East Asian politics, from 1962 to 1996. He founded in 1978 the Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS), one of UC Berkeley’s largest and best endowed research units, and served as its director until retiring in 1990.

Scalapino joined UC Berkeley’s political science department in 1949 and was department chair from 1962 to 1969. He received the Berkeley Medal, the campus’s highest honor, in 1999, and the Berkeley Citation for Distinguished Service in 1990.

He was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure from the government of Japan in 1984 for promoting Japan-U.S. cooperation and understanding.

He also received the Medal of Highest Honor from the Graduate Institute of Peace Studies at Kyung Hee University and the Japan Foundation Award.  He was made an honorary professor at Peking University and at the Center on Northeast Asian Studies in Mongolia.

Donations in Scalapino’s memory can be made to the “Robert A. Scalapino Fund” at the IEAS. The fund benefits undergraduate students at UC Berkeley with an interest in East Asian studies.  Contact Rochelle Halperin at for details.