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All about Mr. Shimada

     A schlemiel spills his soup on the schlimmazzel.
     When a schlimmazzel's bread-and-butter accidentally falls on the floor, it always lands butter-side down; with a schlemiel it is much the same--except that he butters his bread on both sides!
(Yiddish anecdotes)

Last modified on July 20, 2020.

Schlemiel on the Record The Schlemiel on the Record Schlemiel on the Record

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Chronology of Keiichi Shimada:

1949: Keiichi Shimada is born in Chichibu, Saitama, on January 7 as the third son of Saichi and Kameko Shimada.

1955-1961: Attends Odamaki Elementary School, Chichibu, Saitama.

1961-1964: Attends Chichibu Dai-Ichi Junior High School, Chichibu, Saitama.

1964-1967: Attends Kumagaya Senior High School, Kumagaya, Saitama.

1967-1971: English Department, Meiji-Gaku-in University, Minato-ku, Tokyo.

April, 1968: Meets Visiting Prof. Mary C. DeJong (now, Obuchowski, teaching at Central Michigan University), who has continually "overestimated" him ever since.

July-August, 1968: First visit to US as a summer exchange student at Hope College, Holland, Michigan.

Dec., 1969: Wins All Japan Debate Contest Championship at Sophia Univ. thanks to his partner, Shigetaka Matsuo, and other friends.

1971-1974: Graduate School, Meiji-Gaku-in University.

May, 1971: His mentor, Miss DeJong goes back to US.

1974-1976: Graduate School, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Jan., 1975: Marries Harue Ishii.

1977-1984: Full-time instructor, the Faculty of Foreign Languages, Dokkyo University, Soka, Saitama.

July-August, 1978: One month visit to Denver, Colorado.

Dec., 1978: Son, Toshiro, is born.

June, 1980: Daughter, Sawako, is born.

1984-1991: Assistant Professor, the Faculty of Foreign Languages, Dokkyo University.

July-Oct., 1984: Visiting Researcher at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.

1988-1989: Chief Researcher at the Research Institute of Foreign Language Teaching , Dokkyo University.

July-Sept., 1988: Visiting Researcher at CEEL, Geneva, Switzerland.

July-Sept., 1989: Chaperon of Summer Exchange Program at UWSP, Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

1991-2019: Professor, the Faculty of Foreign Languages, Dokkyo University.

July-Sept., 1991: Chaperon of Summer Exchange Program at UWSP, Stevens Point, Wisconsin and the first visit to Corvallis, Oregon.

1992-1993: Visiting Scholar at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.

1997-1999: Chair, the Department of English, Dokkyo University.

1999-2003 : Director, Research Institute of Foreign Language Teaching, Dokkyo University.

2004-2008 : Dean, Faculty of Foreign Languages, Dokkyo University.

2008-2009: Visiting Scholar at the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas.

2011-2012: Director, Extension Center, Dokkyo University.

2012-2013: Chair, the Department of Tourism and Transnational Studies, Dokkyo University.

March, 2019, Retires from the Faculty of Foreign Languages, Dokkyo University.

April, 2019, Professor Emeritus, Dokkyo University.

2019-2020: Part-time instructor, the Faculty of Foreign Languages, Dokkyo University, Soka, Saitama.

Warning: The compiler of the above bio data does not guarantee its accuracy and is exempt from any responsibilities for the damages caused by its inaccuracies.


Q: Why is this page called "The Schlemiel Page"?

A: Because Mr. Shimada identifies himself with a schlemiel. He believes that his life so far has been identical to the schlemiel's.

Q: What is the schlemiel?

A: That is a very good question. Let me quote Ruth R. Wisse from her The Schlemiel as Modern Hero. She defines the schlemiel and the schlimazel (i.e. schlimmazzel) as follows:

The American distinction between the schlemiel and the schlimazel, summarized in the rule of thumb that says the former spills the soup, the latter is the one into whose lap it falls, provides a helpful basis for definition. The schlemiel is the active disseminator of bad luck, and the schlimazel its passive victim. Or, more sharply defined, the schlimazel happens upon mischance, he has a penchant for lucklessness, but the unhappy circumstances remain outside him, and always suggest the slapstick quality of surprise. The schlemiel's misfortune is his character. It is not accidental, but essential. Whereas comedy involving the schlimazel tends to be situational, the schlemiel's comedy is existential, deriving from his very nature in its confrontation with reality.

Q: How does Mr. Shimada look like? Can't I see his picture?

A: We haven't got his photo ready yet. But if you are over 18 years old, click here. You can see his image--a picture his son drew a couple of years ago.

Now Mr. Shimada's photo is ready at last.  Click here if you dare see his picture.  Rest assured that he is clothed this time!

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