The Accounting Historians Journal Vol. 16, No. 2 December 1989
1989 ACCOUNTING HALL OF FAME INDUCTION: YUJI IJIRI
William W. Cooper Nadya Kozmetsky Scott Centennial Fellow University of Texas, Austin
Accounting Hall of Fame Board of Nominations
Our Inductee's favorite reading is that of the mathemati-cian, Raymond Smullyan. I quote from one of Smullyan's recent works, entitled "What is There?" as follows:
One dictionary defines ontology as the science of being; the branch of metaphysics that investigates the nature of being and of the essence of things . . . [Thus Willard van Orman Quine the American philosopher-logician] starts his famous essay On What There Is with the words, 'A curious thing about the ontological problem is its simplicity. It can be put in three Anglo-Saxon monosyllables: 'What is there?' It can be answered, moreover, in a word — "Everything."
A similar philosophy was expressed in Oscar Man-del's delightful book, Chi Po and the Sorcerer: A Chinese Tale for Children and Philosophers. In one scene, the boy Chi Po is taking painting lessons from the sorcerer Bu Fu. At one point Bu Fu says 'No, No! You have merely painted what is! Anyone can paint what is; the real secret is to paint what isn't?' Chi Po, quite puzzled, replies "But what is there that isn't?" [Smullyan, 1988, pp. 111-112].
Smullyan quotes the student approvingly but my sympathies are with the sorcerer. Surely the answer to the boy's question is . . . "What can be created!" — And I take Ijiri as my example. How did he create the ideas of triple-entry bookkeeping? I leave you with the mystery as follows: At a Conference on Creative and Innovative Management [Cooper, 1988, p. 60], I asked Ijiri how he came to have these ideas of triple-entry bookkeeping,