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aokiMasahiko Aoki, Professor Emeritus of Stanford University, who was well known economist that opened the new field of Comparative Institutional Analysis, passed away in the middle of July.
I had the privilege of getting to know him while I was at ICS, Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy at Hitotsubashi University where he also taught.
He was such a great scholar that I had tremendous respect for him, but had thought he would be difficult to approach.
When I found out that he mentioned my name for the membership of the organization, I asked his secretary whether I could meet and talk with him.
Encouraged by her comment that he would welcome people, I visited him at his office at Stanford. He was kind enough to respond to my very simple and basic questions about Institutional Analysis, game theory etc. and invited me to his house. I had such a great time with him and Mrs. Reiko Aoki, drinking champagne and dinner out.
I felt a bit relaxed since then and often visited his office at ICS whenever he was there, asking for help re: conferences and speakers.
It was December last year that I saw him last at the reception hosted by the Nikkei Shimbun. I was so happy to see him after several years and we talked about his upcoming column etc.
He looked fine and I was so shocked when I heard about his passing recently. He was very nice and treated all of us as “people”. He had a great way to make you feel relaxed and at home, though he was very demanding when it came to academic matters. He was a pioneer and ground-breaking economist as remembered.
I feel very fortunate that I got to know such a great person and had the opportunity to see him even briefly last December.

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