Japan Society E-Library

Language study

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Snowden, Paul

The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary had its origins as a pioneer project by British English teachers in Japan. This portrait considers the Japan career of its first editor A.S. Hornby (1898-1978) and his significant contribution to language learning.

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: 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: Britain and Japan 1859-1991: Themes and Personalities
Author: Harries, Phillip

This chapter details Arthur Waley's (1899-1966) career as one of the great translators of Japanese literary works and as an inspiration to generations of Japan scholars. 

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

This portrait provides a detailed account of the establishment and modus operandi of the Japan Consular Service (1859-1941) from the opening of Japan to the end of the Second World War.

Book: British Envoys in Japan 1859-1972
Author: Hoare, James Edward

This portrait provides a detailed account of the establishment and modus operandi of the Japan Consular Service (1859-1941) from the opening of Japan to the end of the Second World War.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Barrett, Michael; Joan Martin; and Peter Martin

Prominent representatives of the British Council in Japan reflect on their experiences, which included writing books on Japanese food, entertaining visiting politicians and celebreties, organising festivals and promoting education and culture. Particular attention is given to difficulties encountered with the English language teaching system.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume I
Author: Ballhatchet, Helen

This essay provides an overview of the missionary efforts of British Christians in the Meiji period, as well as the challenges and nature of the 'mission field' itself.

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

Captain Francis Brinkley provides the subject of this essay, in particular his journalism and scholarship regarding Japan over his forty year career in the country.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Jarvis, Suzette

Captain Oswald Tuck RN played a very significant role in the teaching of Japanese to those involved in the Japanese Section of Bletchley Park during the Second World War. This essay charts his naval and teaching career, especially at the Bedford Japanese School.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Kornicki, Peter

Carmen Blacker (1924-2009) became one of Britain's most original and perceptive scholars of Japan, and this account charts the development of her love for the country and the impact this had upon her choice and pursuit of a career in academia.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Charles Dunn (1915-1995) was one of the scholars responsible for the expansion of Japanese studies after the Second World War. This essay details his career as a scholar and dealings with the Japanese language.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume I
Author: Dore, Ronald

This essay details the contribution of Frank Daniels (1900-83) towards teaching Japanese during the Second World War, and also his role in establishing a major centre for Japanese Studies at SOAS.

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: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Snowden, Paul

Edward Vivian Getby's (1892-1955) was one of the central figures in the establishment of the field of English as a foreign language. This essay details the influence of Japan on his career, and looks at his contributions in relation to those of A.S. Hornby, with whom he worked on the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Kornicki, Peter

The subject of this portrait is the remarkable life and career of Eric Bertrand Ceadel (1921-79), founding father of Japanese studies at Cambridge University.

Book: Britain and Japan 1859-1991: Themes and Personalities
Author: Kornicki, Peter

Detailing Sir Ernest Satow's (1843-1929) diplomatic and scholarly career, including his time as head of the British Mission in Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Kornicki, Peter

This essay provides a re-assessment of 'forgotten figure' Frederick Victor Dickins' (1838-1915) career in Japan as a scholar, lawyer and contributor to Japanese Studies.

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: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Bownas, Geoffrey

Geoffrey Bownas was the first British scholar to study in Kyoto after the war, arriving there in 1952. Here he describes his experience, particularly with regard to the movement towards senzogaeri - 'returning home to the values of our ancestors'.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IV
Author: Smith, Richard C., and Imura, Motomichi

The subject of this portait is Harlod E. Palmer (1877-1949), 'Linguistic Advisor' to the Ministry of Education in Japan, and his outstanding contribution to teaching English as a foreign language as well as the establishment of the Institute for Research in English Teaching.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Saito Yoshifumi

Grammarist Ichikawa Sanki (1886-1970) made a significant contribution to the development of English philology in Japan. This essay examines the interaction between Britain and Sanki throughout his scholarly career.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Koyama Noboru

Inagaki Manjirō combined the desire to embrace Western ideas and Japan's imperial ambitions during the Meiji era. This essay details his life and diplomatic career, providing an overall analysis of both.

Book: British Envoys in Japan 1859-1972
Author: Hoare, James Edward

J. E. Hoare's Introduction to Part IV: Scholar Diplomats and Consuls. 

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Cobbing, Andrew

Itō Hirobumi (1841-1909) was Japan's first cabinet prime minister, and this essay asseses the influence of his time as a student in Britain on his career in Imperial Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Koyama Noburu

This portrait discusses James Summers' (1828-91) contributions to the teaching of English Literature in Japan, along with a discussion of his work in relation to the Taisei Shimbun - one of the first Japanese language newspapers published outside of Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume II
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Even though John Batchelor (1855-1945) was not an expert in linguistics, ethnology or folklore, his contributions to the understanding of the Ainu people is nonetheless significant. This essay details his missionary career and a life devoted to the Ainu people.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume II
Author: Nish, Ian

Dubbed a 'master of the various problems of our Far Eastern Ally', John Harrington Gubbins (1852-1929) enjoyed a remarkable and significant diplomatic career in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Book: British Envoys in Japan 1859-1972
Author: Nish, Ian

Detailing John Harrington Gubbins's (1852-1929) long relationship with Japan, beginning as a student interpretor with the Far East Consular Service through to dealings with the British Legation in Japan. 

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: 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: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Brown, Yu-Ying

Kenneth Gardner (1924-95) held senior posts in the British Museum and British Library, and was instrumental in these posts in promoting Japanese culture and Anglo-Japanese relations. This essay charts his career and significance within his field and beyond, including his war service as part of Translators V.

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 VIII
Author: Dobson, Sebastian

The death of Everard Calthrop (1876-1915) on the Western Front on 19 December 1915 cut short a career which had already done much to increase mutual awareness between the British and Japanese armies since 1902. This essay charts the human impact of the First World War on Anglo-Japanese reltions.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Purvis, Phillida

This portrait details the life and career of scholar Louis Allen (1922-91), especially his wartime service and postwar reconciliation efforts.

Book: Britain and Japan 1859-1991: Themes and Personalities
Author: Pardoe, Jon

This chapter details Malcolm Kennedy's (1895-1935) time in Japan as an army officer sent to study Japanese while attached to a Japanese army unit, his subsequent work at Shell Oil, and his stance as an apologist in the build up to the Second World War.

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: Biographical Portraits Volume I
Author: Blacker, Carmen

This essay considers the remarkable scholarly career of the brilliant but eccentric polymath Minakata Kumagusu (1867-1941), an expert in natural history, folklore and classicism, as well as an assessment of the significance of his time in London to his work.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Tsunematsu, Sammy I.

This essay seeks to explore how Natsume Sōseki's (1867-1916) time in London influenced his literary works and world view, particularly with regard to the pre-Raphaelite movement.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Purvis, Phillida

This portrait details the scholarly career of P.G. O'Neill (1924-2012), his study of the Japanese language, Japanese festivals and Nō theatre.

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

In this chapter Peter Kornicki describes how he became the first non-Japanese since the end of the war to be given a professorial position at a Japanese national university.

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

Among the outstanding students of Japanese during the war, Ronald Doore was so succesful that he was asked to stay on at SOAS as an additional teacher. He had to wait five years after the war for his first trip to Japan, and here he gives his account of Japan in the penultimate year of the Occupation.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Ellingworth, Dick, and Brian Hitch

The pre-war Japan Consular Service sent selected new entrants each year to study Japanese, creating a corps of Japanese-speaking consuls. The Foreign Office realised that Japanese-speaking officers would be needed after the war in the embassy, and in consular posts in Japan, and so revived the practice in 1951. In this chapter Dick Ellingworth and Brian Hitch describe the system.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Everest, Philip; Sarah Johnson; Adrian McGreevey; and Susanna Pfeiffer

These accounts from four returning teachers from the Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) programme give an insight both into life in modern Japan for young people and into the Japanese education system.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Hughes, George

The poet Robert Nichols (1893-1944) provides an example of extreme culture shock suffered by a British visitor to Japan, and this portrait charts his poetic career and interactions with Japan as a foreign teacher at Tokyo University.

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

Roger Buckley reflects on the difficulties of being a teacher in Japan both at a language school and a university.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Yamanouchi Hisaaki

Saitō Takeshi (1887-1982) contributed significantly to the development of English Studies in Japan, as well as inspiring the field of 'British [Cultural] Studies', and this portrait outlines his impact on academia in Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IV
Author: Blacker, Carmen

Sir Edwin Arnold's (1832-1904) time in Japan can be described as nothing less than a love-affair. This portrait considers the impact of Japan upon his writing and poetic career, as well as the impact Arnold had on the understanding of Japan in Britain as he sought to promote and explain Japanese culture.

Book: British Envoys in Japan 1859-1972
Author: Kornicki, Peter

This article details Sir Ernest Mason Satow's (1843-1929) further pursuits in Japan between 1873 to 1884. 

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Businessman Sir Peter Parker (1924-2002) made an outstanding contribution to Anglo-Japanese relations in the final decades of the twentieth century. This essay offers an account and analysis of his career and impact in relation to Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume II
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Vere Redman (1901-1975) worked, throughout his career as a journalist, press attaché, and in the British Ministry of Information, to contribute to understanding between British and Japanese. This essay recounts his journalistic efforts as they relate to Anglo-Japanese relations.

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

Sue Hudson went to Japan before the JET scheme was set up to work in a school in Shizuoka. Here she recounts her experience as a young Western woman in rural Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Matsumura, Jerry K.

This portrait considers Takaki Kanehiro's (1849-1920) career, character and contributions as Surgeon General to the Japanese Imperial Navy. Of particular note is his education in, and subsequent dealings with, Britain throughout his life.

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 V
Author: Milward, Peter

This portrait considers the contribution of Japanese translators of Shakespeare (Fukuda Tsuneari, Odajima Yushi and Anzai Tetsuo) to its appreciation in Japan, and to Shakespearian scholarship in Japan and beyond.

Book: Britain and Japan 1859-1991: Themes and Personalities
Author: Kornicki, Peter

This chapter assesses the life of William George Aston (1841-1911), a diplomat and prominent scholar of Japan. Though Aston remains somewhat of a shadowy figure due to the lack of knowledge of his private life, this appraisal details how his scholarly works in the fields of linguistics and religion have stood the test of time.

Book: British Envoys in Japan 1859-1972
Author: Kornicki, Peter

This profile details William George Aston's (1841-1911) career in the consular service and his scholarly achievments as a writer of Japanese language learning books. 

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Nish, Ian

William Beasley (1919-2006) was a pioneer in introducing Japanese history into British academic circles as a teacher, researcher and author. This essay recounts his career in academia.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Oba Sadao, and Anne Kaneko

Yanada Senji (1906-1972) played a key role in the wartime training of translators and interrogators at SOAS. This portait details his academic career and the deep personal struggles associated with providing key assistance to the war effort against his homeland.

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