Japan Society E-Library

Biographical Portraits Volume X

Edited by:Cortazzi, Hugh

Publisher:Renaissance Books

First published:2016

This edition:2016



This book forms part of a series recording the lives of men, women and institutions who have played a significant role in the development of UK-Japan relations. The current volume, which contains 69 ‘portraits’, contributes further to the Japan Society’s collection of individual memoirs. When read together these give a many-faceted picture of modern history, shedding light on controversial issues, illuminating past successes and failures, and providing a valuable point of reference for researchers and historians.

Structured thematically in two parts – Britain in Japan; and Japan in Britain – the highlights in this volume include 'Victoria Crosses Awarded for Valour in Japan: Duncan Boyes, Thomas Pride, William Seeley and Robert Gray', 'Peter Martin (1931-2004): Successful Author and British Council Representative', 'The Archdeacon and the Canon: The Hutchinsons of Japan', 'Lord Lansdowne (1845-1927) and Japan', 'Oswald 'Shir' White (1884-1970): 38 Years in the Japan Consular Service', 'Basil Hall Chamberlain's Things Japanese and the 'Invention of a New Religion': A Critiaue of Bushido', 'Victorian Novelists in Japan: Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens, Charlotte and Emily Brontë in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries', 'Young Japanese Diplomats Sent to Study at British Universities', 'The Japanese Chamber of Commerce in the UK, 1959-2015', 'Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style: Japonisme', and 'Lisa, Lady Sainsbury (1912-2014): Bringing Japanese Art to East Anglia'.

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Hugh Cortazzi's Introduction to Biographical Portraits Volume X.

Author: Cortazzi, Hugh
Author: Screech, Timon

The first chapter looks at the Phaeton incident of October 1808, where a military ship – HMS Phaeton came to Japan and stayed in port temporarily, and its overt impact, despite no violence occurring, which lead to a more xenophobic Nagasaki and greater tension with Britain.

Author: Screech, Timon

Thomas, Sir Stamford, Raffles (1781-1826) and Dr. Donald Ainslie were looking at trade opportunities in Japan. The text studies their two voyages to Japan and how both were not much of a success.

Author: Ruxton, Ian

The 3rd chapter studies the Naval Bombardment of Kagoshima in 1863 and the military and naval action of Shimonoseki in 1864. There have been four Victoria Crosses awarded for valour in Japan: Duncan Boyes, Thomas Pride, William Seely and Robert Gray.

Author: Karato Tadashi and Hugh Cortazzi

This chapter focuses on Marianne North (1830-1890) who was a traveller, botanist and artist. She has been travelling in Japan between November and December of 1877. She travelled to Yokohama, Tokyo, Kobe and Osaka; there are records of her entire journey. Whilst in Japan she did many paintings of gardens, flowers and landscapes, her speciality.

Author: Galbraith, Mike

William Henry Smith (1838-1884) was a Public-Spirited-Smith and a key figure in early Yokohama history. His life along with his initiatives was a great contribution to the development of this city. He was one of the greatest pioneers who helped create many of the prominent buildings and places that made Yokohama what it was for a long time.

Author: Galbraith, Mike

The 6th chapter looks at Alan Owston, a naturalist and ornithologist who lived in Yokohama. Owston discovered and co-discovered a number of new species and he helped building up important collections to Japan’s natural history. He is also a keen Yachtsman. The chapter also discusses his life in general.

Author: Galbraith, Mike

Chapter 7 looks at the life and dealings of Edgar Abbot, a prestigious sportsman, brewer and businessman who came to Japan and opened Japan Brewery Co., creating Japans first joint stock Company. On top of this he also was the initiator of a vast number of different sports clubs in Yokohama.

Author: Galbraith, Mike

No.48, located in Yokohama, was the Kanagawa Prefecture’s oldest surviving Western structure. It is now just remnants and ruin and is currently named Mollison Shokai. The chapter looks at the people who lived and/or worked there. 

Author: Chrystie, Ian

Thomas Bates Blow (1853-1941) was an antiquarian, apiarist and pioneers motorist from Hertfordshire. This essay looks specifically into his life, his relations with Japan and his motor tour in Japan. The tour was from Kyoto to Karuizawa and back.

Author: O'Connor, Peter

Chapter 10 focuses on Ernest Harold Pickering and his academic works, Pickering was a liberal democrat MP for Leicester West and was a professor at Tokyo University. Pickering wrote ‘Japan’s Place in the Modern World’; the intention was to ‘show the Western World something of the real nature of Japanese character’. 

Author: Cortazzi, Hugh and Paul Norbury

Dorothy Britton was a poet, composer, teacher, author and translator. She was bilingual in Japanese and English. Britton bridged together Japanese and English culture. She lived in Hayana, an hour’s distance from Tokyo and neighbours with the Empress. She developed a theory regarding language in rhythmic terms.

Author: Ruxton, Ian

John Newman (1925-1993) was an English judoka. His interest for judo started in Japan at Tenri University where he was a language student. He was also a broadcaster at the BBC and later NHK and a professor of sociology at Nihon University School. 

Author: Barrett, Mike

Peter Martin was a highly successful author as well as a British Council Representative. Martin was affected by Japan profoundly and he contributed enormously to the interpretation and understanding of the culture and society through the British Council works and books. The chapter goes into his work in Kyoto and Tokyo and summarises some of his detective novels, ‘serious novels’, ‘non-fiction’ and other works.

Author: Hamish, Ion

Charles Frederick Warren was an Anglican missionary in Osaka. It talks about his first years in Osaka, his contribution, opening schools, the mission’s expansion, as well as literary works.

Author: Hamish, Ion

Chapter 15 showcase Barclay Fowell Buxton’s life. He was an evangelistic missionary and he led evangelistic parties, ‘the Mastu Band’ and the ‘Jeb’.

Author: Hamish, Ion

This chapter is about the Hutchinsons of Japan. The article focuses on the archdeacon and his son, the canon, who were both significant Anglican missionary figures in the Kyushu diocese.

Author: Morton, Robert and Andrew Cobbing

The 17th chapter focuses on the fifteenth Earl of Derby and his role as foreign secretary, policies regarding Japan, and his ‘British Neutrality’. Also mentioned are the relationships between him and other highly regarded politicians such as Sir Harry Parkes. It also briefly mentions his father who was the Prime Minister three times. The two were the first father and son in the British Cabinet.

Author: Otte, T.G.

The Earl of Kimberly was a high profile politician whose career was remarkable for its longevity and proximity to the ‘inner group’ of the cabinet. The chapter goes into depth about his career and views as well as his links to Japan.

Author: Otte, T.G.

Lord Lansdowne (1845-1927) was foreign secretary in Japan. Lansdowne’s name is forever associated with the Japanese alliance. The chapter talks about his career and major contribution to the alliance.

Author: Best, Antony

This chapter concerns Lord Lytton and the 1930s Anglo-Japanese relations. Lytton was a British historical figure and has been elected as a chairmanship of the common of inquiry into the Manchurian crisis. The chapter highlights are pre-Manchuria, Manchuria and the Lytton report.

Author: Roberts, Christopher

Sir Edmund Hornby, Charles Goodwin, and Sir Richard Rennie were the first British judges sent to establish a new British Judicial regime in China and Japan. This chapter covers their histories and the Maria Luz affair.

Author: Hoare, J.E.

Chapter 22 is about John Hall who had one of the most extensive careers with the Japan Consular Service, eventually reaching the rank of Consul General.

Author: Hotta-Lister, Ayako

Sir Colin Davidson was a Japan Specialist in the British Consular Service. After mastering the Japanese language, Davidson became a well-respected member of the service, admired by the British and the Japanese alike.

Author: Hoare, J.E.

John Lowder (1843-1902) briefly served as consul in Japan. He was famously pro-Japan and one of its most notable foreign lawyers.

Author: Hoare, J.E.

Sir Edward Crowe was appointed as commercial attache in Tokyo in response to new challenges caused by international trade competition. Despite being very successful during his time in the Department of Overseas Trade, Crowe received very little recognition for his contributions, and is remembered in this chapter as “the forgotten star of the Japan consular service.”

Author: Read, Hugo

Chapter 26 focuses on the 38-year career of Oswald White in the Japan consular service. White was known as Japanese sympathiser, and held an affinity for the language, culture, and people, but was saddened by the aggression of the Japanese regime during the Second World War.

Author: Nish, Ian

Esler Denning, Robert Scott and George Moss, were three of the Britain’s ‘China consuls’ posted in Manchuria in the early 1930s. Though their actions, they all played a role in attempting to balance British, Chinese and Japanese interests in the region.

Author: Cooper, Robert

Fred Warner was an international diplomat before being appointed ambassador to Japan in 1972. During his tenure, he helped establish Japan’s political and commercial significance in Britain.

Author: Warren, David

Warner’s successor, Sir Michael Wilford, served as ambassador in Japan from 1975 to 1980. Owing to growing economic hardship both in Britain and in Japan during his tenure, Wilford spent much of his time managing commercial friction between the two nations.

Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Sir John Whitehead acted as British ambassador in Japan from 1987 to 1992. Whitehead played an important part in deepening UK-Japan economic ties by actively promoting trade and investment between the two nations.

Author: Cronin, Joseph

Basil Hall Chamberlain was a leading British Japanologist in the late 19th century. After writing an informal encyclopaedia on Japan, he spent much of his time criticising bushido as well as the idea of Japanese uniqueness and superiority.

Author: Koyama, Noboru

William J.S. Shand and Henry J. Weintz helped fuel the British interest in Japan through their publication of self-taught Japanese books.

Author: Bowring, Richard

Chapter 33 is a brief chapter focusing on Douglas Mills, a much-admired lecturer in Japanese Studies, who was instrumental in the creation of the British Association of Japanese Studies (BAJS).

Author: Kornicki, Peter

John McEwan is a Briton who learnt Japanese in order to translate and interrogate during the Second World War. After the war, he became a lecturer in Japanese History at Cambridge University.

Author: Best, Antony

This chapter details Charles Sale’s success as a British businessman in Japan, as well as the efforts he and his son George made to promote Anglo-Japanese relations in the UK.

Author: Nakajima, Yuuichiro

After arriving in 1950, Christopher W. McDonald spent nearly sixty-two years living in Japan, witnessing at first hand the nation’s transformation after the devastation of the Second World War.

Author: NSK Staff Members

Chapter 37 addresses the plant that NSK opened in Peterlee, County Durham, in 1976. It covers the difficulties the firm faced, as well as the significance of this investment.

Author: Bradley, Clive

This chapter focuses on Sharp Corporation. The investment in Sharp Laboratories is just one example of the rapidly developing economic ties between the UK and Japan in the late 1980s and the 1990s.

Author: Noguchi, Yoshio

Mitsubishi Electric set up various factories in Scotland in the late 20th century. Written by the person largely responsible for these investments, this chapter provides an interesting angle on the motivations of Japanese electronics firms investing in the UK.

Author: Woodland, Peter

This chapter is about the development of the company Alps Electric (UK), which was the European manufacturing arm of Alps Electric Co. Ltd, Japan. Right after closure in 2009, Alps Electric (UK) passed on the development of new technologies to Two Trees Photonics Limited, co-founded by two former employees of Alps UK. 

Author: Edelshain, Martin

Chugai Pharmaceutical has growth in the European market through its investment in UK subsidiaries. The chapter also covers Chugai’s subsequent support for the promotion of Anglo-Japanese relations.

Author: Cohen, Ivor

Part I: This essay shows the process of adaptation of Japanese television companies to invest and sell in the UK during the 70s and 80s. 

Author: Bacon, Peter

Part II: The second section looks at the other side of the coin of UK-Japan components manufacturing and trade. This time British manufacturers had to adapt to Japanese companies’ needs. The process then led to the creation of a business joint venture. 

Author: Ackroyd, R. Peter

The chapter illustrates the evolution of wool in Japan from the pre-second World War period until 2015. The analysis concerns changing design and commercial trends in Japan. 

Author: Stains, de Ian

Chapter 44 traces the evolution of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan from post-Second World War (1948) until 2015. The Chamber quickly became a major forum for British and Japanese companies and its work has been supported by all British ambassadors throughout the years.

Author: Grundy, Tony

This article, which talks about the role of English lawyers on the Japanese legal systems from the 1960s, analyses in depth three areas: the development of international finance and security work in Japan, the English contribution to deregulation of legal services and the practices developed by London headquartered law firms which set up offices in Tokyo from 1987.  

Author: Madden, Paul

The focus of this chapter is the preparation and then the result of the British Pavilion at the Aichi Expo in 2005. Although the task was not easy, the established steering group composed by public and private sector contributors successfully delivered a pavilion which lived up to the high expectations. 

Author: Kayama, Haruno

Victorian writers started becoming popular in the Meiji era and their works are still discussed today, among others, by The Hardy Society, The Dickens Fellowship and The Brontë Society.

Author: Redfern, Mary

A display at the Museum of the Imperial Collections (Tokyo) was about three Minton dessert stands (tableware and ceramics produced in Stoke-on-Trent, specific for their western-style 1870s-1880s designs) kept by the Meiji Emperor.

Author: Hearley, Graham

This essay talks about five British participants of The Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) Programme. The JET Programme participants are involved in language guidance (rather than simply teaching) and are also involved in overall cultural communication. In the appendix of the chapter, the focus is on British English Teachers in Japan before the JET Programme was established in 1987. 

Author: Seki, Eiji

Fujiyama Naraichi (1915-1994) was a young diplomat in wartime who has been since a young age a firm believer in democratic institutions and individual liberty. He passed the senior diplomatic service examination in 1939, attended to simply escape from his own, increasingly militaristic, country. His postings included Washington, USA, Berlin and London towards the end of his career. 

Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Kazuo Chiba (1925-2004), who has been an outstanding personality in UK-Japan relations. He was unusually frank and outspoken for a Japanese diplomat, however, he has been given relevant roles during his career, including: posts in Tehran, Washington and Moscow and head of the Japanese delegation to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT, predecessor of the World Trade Organisation, WTO). Later in his career he has been one of the most prominent Japanese ambassadors in the UK. 

Author: Numata, Sadaaki

Chapter 52 outlines the educational path of many Japanese diplomats who studied at British universities. The posting of soon-to-become diplomats to the UK to learn foreign languages and prepare for service abroad started in 1888.

Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Saba Shōichi (1919-2012) was one of the pioneers of post-war Japanese manufacturing. Specialised in electrical engineering, he was appointed president of Toshiba in 1980 and increased ties with the UK by, among other things, developing programmes for foreign engineers to work and study in Japan and by sponsoring the Toshiba Gallery of Japanese Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Shijuro Ogata (1927-2014) was an internationalist Japanese banker who started working for the Bank of Japan in 1950. He has been credited with the opening up of the Bank of Japan to Western media, in particular British ones. Moreover, he has been very active in the UK through the Japan-British Society and the Wakatakekai (Young Bamboos Society). 

Author: Macartney, Patrick

Chapter 55 gives a detailed overview of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce legally established in 1959 in the UK, by analysing its institutions, activities and events. The period under consideration is 1959-2015. 

Author: Tomida, Hiroko

Yasui Tetsu (1870-1945) has been an exceptional figure in the development of women’s higher education. She helped establish the Tokyo Joshi Daigaku (Tokyo Women’s Christian University) and her works have been deeply influenced by her studies at the Cambridge Training College for Women Teachers. Her life in Japan is well documented, however less is known about her experience in the UK. This article focuses on her time in Britain. 

Author: Morita, Nori

Tanaka Hozumi (1876-1944) was a scholar and renowned university administrator who made a huge contribution to the modernization of Waseda University and guided it through the Second World War. Tanaka has lived in the USA and the UK before starting his career in Japan in 1903.

Author: Daniels, Gordon

Hagihara Nobutoshi (1926-2001), writer, journalist, tv commentator and internationalist, has been for long time involved in activities in the UK. During his time in different foundations, he strongly supported British scholars and provided platforms for prominent British academics. This chapter tells his story. 

Author: White, Jenny

Nakaya Ukichiro (1900-1962), scientist specialised in low-temperature sciences and famous for creating the first artificial snow crystals, studied at Kings College London from 1928 to 1929. Not much is known about this period of his life and this chapter aims to shed light on these essential years of his formation. 

Author: Iwagami Kazunori and Paride Stortin

Takakusu Junjirō (1866-1945), played an essential role in the establishment of modern Indology and Buddhist studies in the Japanese academy. His academic growth has been fostered in Europe, especially during his time at Oxford University. This chapter explains his career path and achievements in Buddhist studies. 

Author: Morita, Norimasa

This is the story of dancer and producer Itō Michio (1892-1961). The highlights of this article are his years in Germany, England and America, where he developed his career. 

Author: Ellis, Colin

Bonsai is the English approximation of two characters read in Japanese as ‘bon’ (tray) and ‘sai’ (plant). This chapter traces the history of the famous art of Bonsai and illustrates its developments in Europe and the UK. 

Author: Kamide, Mayu

Chapter 63 concentrates on The Royal Academy of Arts and Japan, covering 140 years of activities. Highly relevant events are analysed here. More specifically, among others, The Great Japan Exhibition of 1981-1982 and an exhibition of the most distinguished Japanese woodblock designer, Hokusai. 

Author: Horner, Libby

Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his group called ‘The Four’ or the ‘Mac’ group, were involved in the 1880s and 1890s with the Glasgow Style of design. This essay illustrates how their arts have been influenced by Japan and Japanese art. 

Author: Cortazzi, Hugh with Dharini Parekh

Shimaoka Tatsuzō (1919-2007), a Japanese master potter, also considered a ‘Living National Treasure’, furthered the relationship between Japan and Britain in ceramics. The chapter covers his life and experiences, including the ones in America and UK where he became known for his art. Appendix 1 explains how life was as an apprentice of Shimaoka, while appendix 2 shows some examples of Shimaoka’s ceramics. 

Author: Koyama, Noboru

Japanese art became fashionable in Britain in the second part of the 19th century, when Japanese native art dealers started to arrive in London. This chapter tells the story of these art dealers, mainly concentrating on the life of Katō Shōzō (1863-1930) and Tomita Kumasaku (1872-1953). 

Author: Bandini, Rosemary

Netsuke is a kind of miniature sculpture invented in Japan in the 17th century. During the 19th and 20th century, this form of art became very popular in Britain due to the small size and the ‘taste’ of Japan in it. These miniatures can be considered the precursors of modern Japanese miniature art. This article explores the lives of British collectors of Netsuke. 

Author: Rousmaniere, Nicole Coolidge

Lisa Ingeborg Van den Bergh (1912-2014), also known as Lady Sainsbury was a prominent figure in Britain for promoting art. Her deep interest in and strategic support for Japanese art did not receive too much attention, therefore this chapter aims at exploring this side of her life. 


Author: Conte-Helm, Marie

This last chapter explores the establishment and evolution of the UK-Japan 21st Century Group, created in 1984 as the UK-Japan 2000 Group after a joint recommendation of (at the time) Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The Group still remains a major non-governmental forum that brings together influential Japanese and British figures. 

Author: Goddard, Gill
Author: Hirano, Akira