Japan Society E-Library

Travel writing and painting

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Watanabe Toshio

This portrait details how painter and garden designer Alfred William Parsons (1847-1920) played a catalytic role in the growth of watercolour painting in Japan in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, considering the development of notions such as 'nature' and 'landscape'.

Book: Britain and Japan 1859-1991: Themes and Personalities
Author: Bowring, Richard

Basil Hall Chamberlain (1850-1935) was a writer and prominent Japanologist, inspiring a generation of influential students. In this chapter, his life and career are assessed.  

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Thwaite, Anthony

In addition to the writers mentioned in Chapter 4, 'Cultural Relations Resumed', who lectured and taught in Japanese universities, Anthony Thwaite worked in Japan from 1953 to 1957, and wrote about his experiences in Tokyo during this period.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Abraham, Jimmie; Hugh Cortazzi; Peter Dean; John Figgess; Gail Forrest; and Mike Forrest

Officers from all three services have done stints in post-war Japan as advisers during the Occupation years. Their tasks were to observe the demilitarization of Japan and then to develop contacts with the Self-Defense Forces, and more recently to promote defence sales from British manufacturers. Here a number of previous service attachés recount their experience in Japan. 

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh, and Sacheverell Sitwell

Writers Sacheverell Sitwell and Arthur Koestler both visited Japan in the 1950s and published accounts of their experiences.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Hoare, James Edward

This portrait details the sailing and surveying exports of Captain William Broughton in the Pacific and North East Asia.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

This portrait details how Douglas Sladen's (1856-1947) writings did much to popularize Japan among British readers in the early years of the twentieth century.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Ripley, Eddie

Eddie Ripley gives an account of his efforts to study Japanese and of his early experiences as a vice-consul in Yokohama in the late 1950s and '60s.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Blunden, Edmund

Edmund Blunden returned to Japan as cultural adviser to the United Kingdom Liaison Mission. Here he describes rural Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Koyama Noburu

Elizabeth Gordon (1851-1925) contributed towards a better understanding of Japanese and Western religious culture. This essay details her life and studies of Buddhism both in Britain and Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Huberman, Toni

As a watercolourist of flowers and gardens, Ella Du Cane (1874-1943) helped popularize the Japanese garden amongst westerners who had never been to Japan. This essay sketches her life and impact on Anglo-Japanese relations.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Bush, Lewis

Lewis Bush was a POW who had lived in Japan prior to the war. This chapter comprises extracts from his account, The Road to Inamura.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Baker, Kenneth; Denis Healey; Julian Ridsdale; and Patrick Jenkin

Although few British politicians have had more than a cursory knowledge of Japan, large numbers of MPs have visited the country, and some have managed to achieve more than a passing acquaintance with it. The British Japan Parliamentary Group and the UK-Japan 2000 Group (later UK-Japan 21st Century Group) have been the driving force behind this. Here key figures from these organisations describe their dealings with Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Tamaki Norio

A writer, journalist and businessman, Fukuzawa Yukichi (1835-1901) made a significant contribution to Meiji Japan, and a personal fortune in the process.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Best, Antony

Although G.E. Morrison (1862-1920) never visited Japan or spoke Japanese, his journalistic efforts had a great impact on British public opinion over the relationship with Japan. This essay assesses his career and influence.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Dukore, Bernard F.

This essay presents an article by Shaw about his time in Japan, reproduced with permission by the George Bernard Shaw Estate, as well as a brief biographical chronology in order to put the article in perspective. Originally published in Asian Affairs Vol. XIX Part I February 1988.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Guest, Harry

Poet Harry Guest was in Japan from 1966 to 1972, and recalls his experiences.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Casson, Hugh, and Hugh Cortazzi

Artist Hugh Casson visited Japan in 1981 for the 'Great Japan Exhibition' of Edo period art. During his time there he made a number of sketches, later published as part of the 1991 Japan Festival in Britain.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IV
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Hugh Fraser (1837-1894) presided over one of the most significant developments in Western relations with Japan, the replacement of the 'unequal' treaty originally signed in 1858. This essay surveys his involvement with the Japanese political scene.

Book: British Envoys in Japan 1859-1972
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Hugh Fraser (1837-1894) presided over one of the most significant developments in Western relations with Japan, the replacement of the 'unequal' treaties originally signed in 1858. This essay surveys his involvement with the Japanese political scene.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Hatcher, John

This essay details Ian Fleming's (1908-64) 1959 visit to Tokyo for the Sunday Times, as part of a five-week tour of his personal canon of 'the thrilling cities of the world', and the impact this and his subsequent visits to the country had on his writing.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Nish, Ian

Ian Nish had been in Japan during the Occupation, and in the late 1950s was a lecturer at Sydney University. He visited Japan every year from 1957 to '63 for research.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume I
Author: Barr, Pat

This portrait details traveller and writer Isabella Bird's (1831-1904) deep fondness for Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Burleigh, David

This essay considers James Kirkup's (1918-2009) poetical encounter with Japan, in particular his fifty-year engagement with haiku.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

This portrait provides an account of the interest of Ye Sette of Odd Volumes' interest in and promotion of things Japanese within their society.

Book: Japanese Envoys in Britain 1862-1964: A Century of Diplomatic Exchange
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Detailing the various Japanese envoys sent to Britain during the ten year period of 1862-72, including the Bakufu mission and several prominent figures.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Haylock, John

Novelist John Haylock first went to Japan in 1956 and again several times later, and recalls his experience.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Pedlar, Neil

This portrait covers the writing and journalistic career of John Morris in the build up to the Second World War, and his contact with George Orwell during his time with the BBC.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Gardner, Kenneth

Ken Gardner was a Japanese language student during the war and returned to SOAS afterwards, becoming assistant librarian responsible for Japanese books. He then worked as Keeper of Oriental Printed Books and Manuscripts at the British Museum, and visited Japan in 1967.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Art historian and critic Kenneth Clark visited Japan in 1963, giving him the opportunity to indulge his love of Japanese art.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Britton, Dorothy

Dorothy Britton was born in Japan before the war and returned there during the Occupation. This chapter gives an account of her life as a bridge between Japanese and English cultures.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Pinnell, Alan

Alan Pinnell's diplomatic career in Japan spanned some twenty years, from the late 1960s to the late '80s. Here he picks out some of the most memorable moments from his time in Japan, starting with his time as a language student and culminating with the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1986, via his time in the commercial department.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume II
Author: Blacker, Carmen

Before his unfortunate infatuation with conman Thomas Lake Harris, Laurence Oliphant (1858-88) made two visits to Japan, each time leaving a fascinating account of his adventures. This essay details those colourful adventures, both personal and diplomatic.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Post, Laurens van der

Laurens van der Post was in Japan before the war and had been a Japanese POW in Java. He was commissioned by Hogarth Press to write A Portrait of Japan, published in 1968, and also wrote a number of other books relating to his experiences in Japan.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Wood, Christopher

Christopher Wood recalls his time as a British soldier in Shikoku in 1946.

Book: Britain and Japan 1859-1991: Themes and Personalities
Author: Blacker, Carmen

Marie Stopes (1907-1958) is most widely known as the pioneer of birth control and sex education for women in Britain. This chapter details her often forgotten early years in Japan, including her published works on Japanese theatre and her love affair with a professor at Tokyo University, as well as her employment as the first female Western scientist to work at Tokyo University.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Baker-Bates, Merrick

Merrick Baker-Bates was first a diplomatic service language student in Japan before becoming Commercial Counsellor. Having transferred to commerce for four years he subsequently returned to the diplomatic service as Consul General in LA. Here he describes his various lives in Japan, with particular reference to his time as a language student, the shift in emphasis in the 1960s to promoting British exports, and to his time as General Manager of Cornes and Company.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Morris, John

John Morris was one of a handful of British individuals without service connections in Japan in the early days of the occupation. Having written about his experiences in Japan prior to the war, he set off to write a sequel.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Ashmore, Sonia

Mortimer Menpes (1835-1938) was fully immersed in fin de siècle Japonisme and travelled to Japan twice. This portrait examines the influence of Japan on his artistic career.

Book: Britain and Japan 1859-1991: Themes and Personalities
Author: Ion, Hamish

This chapter covers the life of Walter Weston (1861-1940) an Anglican clergyman who is also responsible for pioneering mountain climbing as a popular leisure sport in Japan. 

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Swan, Peter

Peter Swan went to Japan in 1953 to study Chinese painting, and during his time there covered many facets of Japanese art. Here he gives an account of his visit.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Purvis, Phillida

Phillida Purvis lived in Japan during the 1980s and experienced a number of different 'incarnations', as a student, diplomat, teacher of international relations, wife and mother. Here she picks out themes from her life as an expatriate in Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Snell, William

Within writer R.V.C. Bodley's (1892-1970) long and varied life lies a year in which his journalistic career took him to Japan. This essay details his writings relating to the country.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Large, Dick; Graham McCallum; Martyn Naylor; Ann Wilkinson; and David Wilkinson

One of the key service sectors for Britain in Japan was the airline industry, and until the late 1980s the main British company involved was British Airways. Here David Wilkinson, BA's manager in Japan from 1978 to '87 gives an account of his experience there, along with his wife, Ann Wilkinson's reflections. Following this, Martin Naylor recalls the important role played by the Japan British Society in the 1960s and '70s. During a forty-year career in Japan, Dick Large worked for John Swire & Sons (during which time he precided over Swire Japan's international shipping operations), Cathay Pacific and BA. Here he reflects on this period.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Fraser, Duncan, and Lew Radbourne

Having first gone to Japan with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force, Lew Radbourne returned in 1949 as a junior expatriate with Dodwell and Company. Duncan Fraser first worked in Japan with Jardin Matheson and Company Limited and ended his service there as Direct of Royals Royce (Far East). Here both recall the early years of working and trading in Japan

Book: Britain and Japan 1859-1991: Themes and Personalities
Author: Holmes, Colin

Sidney (1859-1947) and Beatrice Webb (1858-1943) were political activists devoted to the labour movement in Britian. Between 1911-1912 they embarked on a world tour, visiting Japan and writing an account of their journey. 

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Sir Edward James Reed (1830-1906) was a leading naval architect who built ships for the Japanese Imperial Navy in the Meiji period and became an advocate for treaty revision, clashing with Sir Harry Parkes. This essay details his illustrious but flawed career and role in Anglo-Japanese relations.

Book: British Envoys in Japan 1859-1972
Author: Whitehead, John

This portrait details Sir Oscar Morland's (1904-1980) career and long association with Japan, as part of the Far East Consular Service and later as British ambassador to Japan. 

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Hatcher, John

Despite there being very little of Japan in Somerset Maugham's (1874-1965) writings, he spent much time there and gained much popularity among the Japanese. This essay offers an account and analysis of Maugham's time in Japan.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Spender, Stephen

Poet Stephen Spender was in Japan in 1958, and recalls his experiences of noh and Hokkaido.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Whitehead, John

In the 1950s the Foreign Office maintained the tradition of sending language students to Japan. Here future Ambassador Tim Whitehead recalls his time, from 1956, as one such student, including his extensive travelling around the country.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Garner, Shaun

Sir Merton (1835-1921) and Lady Russell-Cotes (1835-1920) were passionate about Japan, bringing over a hundred cases of souvenirs back to England following their first visit to the country. This essay details their passion as it manifested itself in collecting Japanese objects and promoting Japanese culture.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Beasley, William Gerard

Having served in Japan during the Occupation, Bill Beasley returned there to carry out post-doctoral research during a sabatical year in 1950, and again in 1956 and 1963.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Huberman, Toni

This portrait details the life of artist, traveller and illustrator Walter Tyndale (1855-1943), including his 1909 visit to Japan.

Book: Britain and Japan 1859-1991: Themes and Personalities
Author: Allen, Louis

This chapter considers the time spent in Japan by South African writer William Plomer (1905-1974) and how this influenced his later works such as Paper Houses.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Townsend, Susan C.

This essay details colonial studies scholar Yanaihara Tadao's (1893-1961) impressions during his 1920-21 tour of Britain, and examines the ways in which his study abroad and his Christian beliefs influenced his thought.

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