Adjunct Associate Professor Naito Dies at 66 in Japan

Seiji Naito, adjunct associate professor of Asian languages and literatures emeritus, died in Zama City, Japan. He was 66 years old.

Naito was trained as a linguist. He earned a bachelor of arts in education from Yokohama National University and a Ph.D in linguistics from Harvard University. He held positions at the University of Hawaii, Boston University, and Tokyo Junshin Women’s College before joining the Wesleyan faculty as adjunct assistant professor in 1993. In 1999 he was promoted to adjunct associate professor, and he left Wesleyan in 2003.

Naito published several papers on language pedagogy and was the author of English textbooks for Japanese students and a Japanese-English dictionary. He also presented many papers at professional meetings, including Association for Asian Studies Annual Meetings and New England Japanese Pedagogy Workshops. At Wesleyan he taught all levels of Japanese language ranging from Elementary Japanese to Fourth Year Japanese, as well as courses on Japanese linguistics.

Colleagues lauded his teaching and were grateful for his contributions to the Associated Kyoto Program.

“Naito-sensei was a wonderful teacher and colleague,” says colleague and friend Yoshiko Samuel, professor of Asian languages and literatures emerita. “He suffered many years of illness, but now he is free and lives in our loving memories.”

Seiji Naito is survived by his wife Kisako and two children. Details regarding a memorial service are pending.