I had a dialogue with the political scientist Kang Sang-jung in the Hilltop Hotel in central Tokyo. The conversation was held for a woman's weekly magazine.
The hilltop hotel is famous for its literary connotations. Many famous writers have resided there. Today, it is often used for interviews and literary meetings by the publishers of books and magazines.
I hugely enjoyed discussing with Professor Kang Sang-jung. One of the major topics that emerged was freedom. People generally regard the world history as a gradual progression of freedom for the people. However, in order to enjoy freedom and make use of it fully, one needs to have certain conditions in terms of knowledge, faculties, and social resources. For those who are equipped with the necessary elements, freedom becomes a blessing. Otherwise, freedom can be a curse.
What are the conditions for freedom to work? Our conversations were mingled with references to Soseki Natsume and Max Weber.
Kang Sang-jung is a warm and sincere man.