This project showcases student project work from Japan and the World, a modern Japanese history course offered at Kanda University of International Studies. It focuses on important themes and individuals from the Meiji (1868-1912) and Taisho (1912-26) periods, when Japan was beginning to open to the world after centuries of government-enforced isolation.

All submissions are researched, whether in English or Japanese, and references provided. Comments responding to and exploring ideas, suggesting connections or further reading, are most welcome. As entries are written by non-native English speakers, please refrain from non-constructive comments about language use.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Hannah Riddell

Hannah Riddell
By Ryo Isono

Introduction

Do you know leprosy? This is the one of infectious and skin diseases. In Meiji period, people considered leprosy to be a fatal disease, because there were no medicines for it. Moreover, this disease has bad effects to a patient’s skin and face. That’s why patients of this disease suffered from disease and discrimination because of their terrible looks and because there were no ways to treat it. However one woman who came from foreign country, England, contributed to help Japanese sufferers. This woman was Hannah Riddell.

Personal History

Riddell was born in London as ordinary family. When she was 20 years old, she established a private school with her mother to make money. At first, the management of school was good and she taught all subjects to students even though she was still twenty, but her mother died in 1886. After that the situation of management gradually went bad. Three years after death of her mother, her father also passed away, and moreover the school was bankrupted. Because of this she had no job, so she became missionary who belonged to one organization, CMS (Church Missionary Society).

When she was 35, she came to Kumamoto in Japan as a missionary. Then, five missionaries were sent to Japan and she was oldest woman of all of them. She saw patients of leprosy there for the first time. She was surprised at such terrible situation for patients. She had been interested in making new organization and was good at making relationship with people of upper class, so she decided to try to establish a hospital called Kaishun hospital for patients of leprosy. However she suffered from financial problem because England couldn't send monetary aid because of the Russo‐Japanese War. 

Nonetheless, she succeeded to change situation for the better thanks to a lot of gifts of money and support by upper class people such as Okuma and Shibusawa. She was fond of noble culture and upper class people, so she was able to get help from people who had power in Japan. Owing to this relationship with upper class, she got a chance to spread her idea by making speech in front of upper class and imperial family. She devoted her life to care for lepers.

Summary of discussion

I asked two discussion questions to my group member.

First question was “If you got a disease like leprosy, what do you think and do?” Most members said they wouldn’t want to be alive, if they had leprosy.

Second question was “If you were in her position, do you think you could behave like her and why?. Some of them said “Of course, I would do same thing like her”, and one of them also answered “if I were in strong position, I would help lepers, but in case I were ordinary person, I couldn’t.”. These answers made me know her greatness.

Reflection

I could learn new thing about hidden Japanese history through this presentation because I have never heard and seen the name of her and leprosy in class of high school and junior high school. I also didn’t know many people suffered from leprosy at that time. I feel it would be difficult for me to help other people by devoting my life to them, so she is a great person for me.


References

“Hannah Riddell”, (n.d.). In Wikipedia, accessed January, 2015 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannah_Riddell

Social welfare service corporation Riddell Right Home HP, (n.d.). Riddell joshi [Ms Riddell], accessed January 2015
http://www.riddell-wright.com/history_riddell.php

Guido Verbeck

Guido Verbeck
By Kana Takaku

Introduction

Do you know the man who triggered the Iwakura Mission being sent to Europe and America? The members of Iwakura Mission flourished in various fields, and they contributed to Japanese cultural enlightenment after they returned from the countries in which they studied. It means that the Iwakura Mission was very important event of Japan. The man’s name is Guido Verbeck, and he was Dutch political adviser, educator, missionary and o-yatoi-gaikokujin [hired foreign expert - Ed].

Life of Verbeck

Guido Verbeck was born in Zeist, Netherlands in Moravian family in 1830. He commuted to Moravian school and studied Dutch, German, French and English. When he was young, he was influenced by Karl Gutzlaff, who was a missionary in China, about working in foreign country as missionary. He hoped to be engineer, so he studied at the Polytechnic Institute of Utrecht. When he was in U.S. to work at foundry, he almost died from cholera and he swore to become a missionary if he recovered. He recovered from it, so he became missionary and went to Japan in 1859.

When he arrived at Japan, he said “ I have not ever seen a view this beautiful in Europe or America.” At that time, Christianity was prohibited, so he opened the school and Okuma Shigenobu took his class from 1861-1862. He had many students; there were more than 100 at his school. Okuma took his individual English class and he reminisced about Verbeck’s class, saying that he influenced him about Christianity.

In 1869, he became o-yatoi-gaikokujin and went to Tokyo to work on making a good rule and education at Daigaku-Nankou. 1868, he advised Okuma on Japanese modernization, and Okuma translated it and gave it to Prince Iwakura. Iwakura decided to send Japanese people to Europe. Verbeck also got a prize “Order of the Rising Sun”, which was given to people who did a good thing for Japan.

Summary of discussion

My discussion question was

1 What do you think about his experience in many countries?

2 His class influenced many people: is it good?

My group members told that going other countries is good because he may get knowledge and know about cultures. But some people thought the fact that he influenced people was not good, because he may have told them about Christianity secretly. All members thought he was great person.

Reflection

I think he was great person, because he gave chance to study foreign languages to Japanese people and he helped Japan to develop. Through this project, I learned that he had close connections with Japan and it is important to know about people who did a good thing for Japan like him.


Reference

“Guido Verbeck”, (n.d.). In Wikipedia, accessed December, 2014 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guido_Verbeck

Edoardo Chiossone

Saigo Takamori, by Chiossone
By Chihiro Ishii

Edoardo Chiossone was a painter from Italy. He was also a woodblock artist. His name is not famous in Japan. However his works are popular even though over 100 years have passed since he died.

The Meiji Emperor, by Chiossone
These are Chiossone’s famous works. He drew Meiji Emperor’s and Saigo Takamori’s portraits. Although Chiossone had never met Saigo Takamori and there were no pictures of Saigo, he drew his portrait with the advice from Tokuno Ryosuke, Saigo’s compatriot.

Also, Chiossone helped manufacture of paper money in Japan as one of the hired foreigners. Japan established the way to make paper money themselves.

Edoardo Chiossone
In 1833, Chiossone was born in Genoa, Italy. His family were printers and bookbinders. He entered an art academy in Liguria when he was 14 years old. He learned about sculpture of copperplate print. After his graduation, he became a professor in this art academy. He was strongly interested in manufacture of paper money, so he got a job in Italian National Bank, and later, he transferred to Dondorf-Naumann Company.

Dondorf-Naumann Company was a large company of printing in Germany. In Japan, they had no mass production method of making paper money in this period. Therefore, Japanese government ordered Dondorf-Naumann Company to make Japanese new paper money. Dondorf-Naumann Company printed Meiji-Tsuho and sent it to Japan.

Meiji-Tsuho banknote made by
Dondorf-Naumann company
However, it was not easy for Japan to order much paper money to foreign countries. In this period, the main way of transportation was shipping. The shipping charges were expensive. Also there were a lot of dangers on the way, for example, sinking or pirates. Japan had several difficulties ordering paper money from Germany. To avoid these problems, Japanese government decided to hire foreign experts and establish the technical methods to make paper money themselves.

In 1875, Chiossone came to Japan as a hired foreigner. Okuma Shigenobu invited him. Chiossone introduced several kinds of methods, ways of drawing, and printing. Also, he drew new Japanese paper money design. Japan succeeded in the mass production of paper money. In addition, Chiossone’s work was detailed, so it was impossible to make counterfeit bills.

Chiossone painted not only Japanese paper money, but some portraits. According to above-mentioned explanation, Chiossone drew the portraits of famous people like Meiji Emperor, Saigo Takamori and Kimura Masujiro. He also drew more than 500 national bonds, stamps and securities. A lot of Japanese young people were taught many kinds of artistic techniques by Chiossone.

In 1891, he retired his job in Japan and received 3000 yen as his retirement money. He didn’t go back to his mother country. In his later years, he bought and collected a lot of Japanese art objects. He was interested in Japanese arts. In 1898, Chiossone died in Kouji-machi, Tokyo. After his death, his house was made into a museum.

The techniques which Chiossone introduced to Japan proved to be useful. Even though over 100 years has passed since he died, these artistic techniques help making contemporary bills. Chiossone contributed to Japanese development greatly.

He was one of Oyatoi-Gaikokujin, hired foreigners. In my opinion, Chiossone was also one of the most familiar foreigners to Japan. The reason why he has died in Japan, didn’t go back to his mother country. Also he loved and collected Japanese arts. Therefore, he contributed Japanese great development. He was one of the heroes in this period.

Reference List

Donatella Failla/January 11th, 2013/Connecting Europe and Meiji Japan : Edoardo Chiossone and Japanese Art/International House of Japan http://www.i-house.or.jp/eng/programs/japanihj20130111/

Hired Foreigners in Meiji period http://www.photo-make.jp/hm_2/ma_21.html

Ernest Fenellosa

Ernest Fenellosa
By Chihiro Akie

Introduction

Do you like Japanese arts? I bet perhaps most Japanese people will say “not really”. For Japanese people, art is not familiar at all. In my opinion, most museums in Japan are costly so we cannot visit easily if we are not interested in arts. However we still have many historical Japanese arts because some people tried to protect them and hand them down to posterity. I want to introduce one of those people. That person is Ernest Fenellosa.

About Ernest Fenellosa

Ernest Francisco Fenellosa was born in Massachusetts, America in 1853. He studied philosophy and sociology at Harvard College, where he graduated at the top of the class. At the time, he got interested in art so he entered the art school of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. When he was 25, his father Manuel Francisco Ciriaco Fenellosa committed suicide because he could not adapt to his circumstances. According to Christianity, suicide is sin. That is why Ernest needed a new place. Fortunately, he found the information that Tokyo University was recruiting professors. After that he moved to Japan and started working as a professor of philosophy. At the same time, he was attracted by Japanese art. He started studying Japanese art. He found the fact that Japanese people did not respect their art at all which was shocking and disappointing for him. Then he decided to protect Japanese art and tell it to the World. He protected some statues of Buddha and Buddhist images.

Discussion

My discussion questions were “Have you ever been to museum?” and “Which do you like better, Japanese art or Western art?”

The first one question was because I wanted to know how much my members were familiar with art. I was surprised because two people said they have never been there. I guess that many people think art is not worth paying to view.

I expected the answer for the second one that my members would say Western art is better. However everyone answered Japanese one is more attractive which was surprising for me.

Reflection

According to this project, I learned how Japan obtained cooperation from many foreigners. Today we get inspiration from other countries, which is great thing. However I realized that we hardly explain about Japan. We need to focus on Japanese culture. Because if people pay attention to it, then it will be protected and respected. I hope that Japanese people get more interested in Japanese culture. I want to thank Mr. Fenellosa.

References
“Ernest Fenellosa”, (n.d.). In Wikipedia, accessed June, 2015 from  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Fenollosa

Meijinooyatoigaikokujin, (n.d.) Ernest Francisco Fenellosa no kozai [The merits and demerits of Ernest Francisco Fenellosa] accessed June, 2015 from http://photo-make.jp/hm_2/ma_23.html

James Curtis Hepburn

James Curtis Hepburn
by Sayuri Hama

Introduction

Hepburn is famous for Romaji [romanization; a way to write Japanese in the Latin alphabet - Ed] in Japan, but do you really believe that Romaji was invented by Hepburn? In fact, it is not true. I’m going to write about that later.

Background

Hepburn was born in America. His father was a lawyer, and his mother believed in Christianity. Thanks to smart parents, he was good at studying. He entered a college at 16 years old. He majored in medical and learned the Bible, which made him be interested in Christianity. After graduation from the college, he married Kurara who was Christian. Hepburn spent most his life in other countries to propagate Christianity with his wife.

Life in China for 5 years

Hepburn and his wife moved to China in spite of his parents’ objections. In China, they had many difficulties. At first, they faced a handicap in language. What is worse, Kurara had a miscarriage and next baby died soon after the birth. In addition, Hepburn and Kurara suffered from Malaria. They had to go back to America for treatment. Then Hepburn started a medical office and succeeded in it. He got a good reputation; however, he decided to leave America again to Japan for propagation.

Life in Japan for 33 years

Hepburn and Kurara arrived at Kanagawa prefecture. It took about 6 months to come to Japan. What surprised Hepburn at first was Japanese appearance. Men had a sword and a topknot. According to his diary, Japanese people were full of curiosity about foreign culture because Japan was closed for a long time. He tried to propagate Christianity but there was a serious problem. Christianity was illegal at the time. He once gave up doing that and opened a medical office. He learned Japanese through the work. His hospital became the most famous one in Kanto area. He got reputation also in Japan, but he wasn't satisfied with that because his purpose was propagation of Christianity. 

He decided to study Japanese but there was no dictionary in Japan at the time so he started to make a dictionary. Hepburn started to prepare a dictionary. He mastered vocabularies, grammar, and idioms. But there were other problem. Japan didn't have the technology to print millions of words or make suitable paper. So Hepburn asked Chinese factory to do that. Finally he completed making dictionary 7 years after he came to Japan. He built a church and the members reached 200, so after all he achieved his goal to propagate Christianity.

Romaji

Japanese people think that Romaji was invented by Hepburn. Actually Romaji was made by Portuguese long before Hepburn used it for the first time in dictionary. He was just the person who put it into practice.


Reference

Anonymous, (n.d.). Kanagawa no ijin, nihon no ijin [A great man in Kanagawa and Japan]. Retrieved January 20, 2015 from http://www.hebon.sonanda.net/

Alexander von Siebold

Alexander von Siebold
By Yuka Shiratori

Introduction

Do you know about foreigners who worked for Japanese government in Meiji Japan? They are called foreign specialists in government employ (in Japanese, Oyatoi-gaikokujin). Alexander von Siebold is one of them and he worked as an interpreter. He studied Japanese so hard after he came to Japan, and he succeeded as a Japanese-English interpreter even though his mother language was German.

His life

Siebold was born in Leyden, Netherlands in 1846. He came to Japan for the first time when he was 12 years old. This opportunity was created by his father.

His father, Philip Franz von Siebold is famous for the “Narutaki-juku” [a medical school - Ed] and the Siebold incident, in which he tried to bring the map of Japan overseas, although it was illegal at that time. He was deported from Japan and he couldn't come to Japan for about 30 years.

When Alexander’s father became able to come to Japan, because the deportation was lifted, Alexander came to Japan with his father.

He studied Japanese so hard for about a year, and then he started to work as an interpreter when he was 15 years old. At that time, he was a student-interpreter and assisted British consul. He was not familiar with the job at first, but he kept making efforts to learn Japanese.

From 1870, he was sent to Europe and accomplished many achievements. The arrangement for Japan’s participation in the Vienna World Expo of 1873 was one of his great achievements. He had already been and experienced the 1867 World Fair in Paris. To add to this result, he also worked for Japanese students in London, and negotiated about the bill print.

He became official interpreter for the Ministry of Finance in 1875. From that time he translated the official documents and the laws which related to the Ministry of Finance. His job of supporting the Japanese politics had continued. For example, in 1881, to assist Inoue Kaoru, he went to Germany and negotiated with the German government over treaty revisions.

He contributed to Japanese politics and society for over 40 years, his work was recognized and he was awarded the order of the Sacred Treasure in 1910. There are six grades and he was awarded the 2nd class.

Discussion

I asked two questions at the discussion.

What do you think about his father’s decision (decided his son would be an interpreter)?

Most of members said that it was not bad for him because he finally succeeded as an interpreter. To think of the difficulty of getting good job, it was a valuable opportunity that should not be missed for him. One more reason is that he could chose his work or future, because his father passed away after leaving Alexander in Japan and went back to the country.

What do you think about foreigners who work for Japan (or Japanese people)?

Considering the reason to come Japan, we felt that most foreigners love Japan and had hoped to visit Japan.

Another viewpoint is that of Japanese people. Before Meiji era, Japan had no chance to learn from other countries, so foreigners who visited Japan were like teachers for Japanese at that time. They taught the foreign culture or customs, and these experiences were important and necessary for Japan.

Reflection

Alexander’s experiences of Japan were not intended but I think that working in Japan for Japanese government was good for him. As I mentioned in the discussion part, working for Japanese government was precious chance for him to learn about Japan, including the language.

I recognized that Japan learned many things from foreign countries and tried to adopt them into Japanese society. It is said that there is a less Japanese atmosphere these days rather than past Japanese society, but my opinion became slightly different from this. I think that Japan always tries to get new and useful information and tries to adjust it to Japan, and this also should be seen as one of Japanese merits.

After all, I noticed that I could ask the discussion questions that were related to his effort to learn foreign languages. Actually, he studied so hard to master the foreign language. I think Japanese is difficult but he roughly mastered it for only a year. It was such a surprising fact for me.


References

Kreiner, J. (1998) Tokugawa Japan at dusk Japan which was seen by Siebold and his sons


"Alexander von Siebold", (n.d.). In Wikipedia, retrieved on January 26th 2015 from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_von_Siebold


"Alexander von Siebold" (Japanese page), (n.d.). In Wikipedia Japan, retrieved on January 26th 2015 from
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%82%A2%E3%83%AC%E3%82%AF%E3%82%B5%E3%83%B3%E3%83%80%E3%83%BC%E3%83%BB%E3%83%95%E3%82%A9%E3%83%B3%E3%83%BB%E3%82%B7%E3%83%BC%E3%83%9C%E3%83%AB%E3%83%88

Georges Ferdinand Bigot

Image 1: Une partie de peche
By Hitomi Takano

Introduction

Do you know this picture (1)? –Yes. Then, do you know about Bigot? -Probably, the answer is ‘No.’. Georges Ferdinand Bigot is a famous French painter who drew a lot of pictures about Japan. His drawings have historic value, and they are included in a history textbook in Japan. That’s why many people might know his works, even if they don’t know Bigot.

Personal history

Bigot was born in Paris. His father was a government official, and his mother was a famous artist. Under the influence of his mother, Bigot was interested in pictures since he was small. When he was 12 years old, he entered the École des Beaux-Arts and studied art until 1876. After he quit his study, he began to work as an illustrator. His work went well, and he gradually became famous. However, when he went to Exposition Universelle de Paris, he was attracted by Ukiyoe (Japanese woodblock prints - Ed), and also by Japan, and finally decided to go to Japan. First, he came to Japan as a oyatoi gaikokujin (a hired foreign expert - Ed), and earned money by teaching art at school. After his employment contract as a oyatoi gaikokujin expired, he began work as a News painter. He reported many disasters with his paintings, and earned a lot of money. Using his salary, he began to publish the comic magazine called TÔBAÉ. In this magazine, he drew a lot of satirical drawings, and created new style of cartoon. He lived in Japan for about 17 years, and came back to France in 1899.

Georges Ferdinand Bigot
Summary of discussion

We discussed two points of Bigot’s accomplishments:

1. If he had been born in different time, Bigot should have decided to settle down in Japan.

-Do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

2. He loved Japan so much, drew a lot about Japanese culture, and also married Japanese woman.

-Why do you think Bigot continued to criticize Japan in his publication?

At first, I asked why Bigot chose to go back to France. In my opinion, Bigot would have stayed in Japan if he was born now. At that time, Japan was gradually becoming more chaotic. For foreigners in Japan, it was extremely dangerous to continue staying in Japan. Many group members agreed with me. In addition, one group member said that if he was born now, he would not become famous. I strongly agree with this opinion. It was fortunate that he was born in the late 19th century because this time period made him famous.

The second question was about Bigot’s character. Through his life, Bigot kept criticizing Japan in his works. However, he also left a lot of episodes to make people think that he loved Japan. Which is his real opinion? In my group, almost all members mentioned that Bigot loved Japan, and because of that, he wanted Japan to grow up more by continuing to point out weak points and problems. I also agree with my group members. If he really hated Japan, I think, he would have not continued staying in Japan for 17 years.

Reflection on person and project

Before this project, I knew Bigot’s works in the same way as majority of people, but did not know well about Bigot. However, while I checked him, I became interested in Bigot. I think Bigot is a Japanophile. He loved Japan so much that he tried to settle down in Japan. However, he didn't do that, and came back to France. This was because he had a lot of difficulties staying in Japan. While he was living in Japan, Japan had two wars, the Sino-Japanese war and the Russo-Japanese war. In this period, foreigners in Japan were sometimes treated badly. Bigot was afraid of Japanese militarism. In addition, he did not get along well with Kuroda Seiki, an authority on the Japanese art. From these facts, he decided to go back to France.

Bigot’s works are important historical materials to know the common customs at that time. They are not only satirical drawings, but also drawings of Japanese daily life. He brought Western style of cartoon to Japan, and also criticized Japanese society with foreigner’s eyes.

I think that it is his misfortune to have been born at this time. If Bigot had been born in different time, maybe his life might have changed.



References

“Georges Ferdinand Bigot”. (n.d.). In Wikipedia, accessed December 2014:
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%82%B8%E3%83%A7%E3%83%AB%E3%82%B8%E3%83%A5%E3%83%BB%E3%83%93%E3%82%B4%E3%83%BC

Shimizu, I. 2001. Bigot ga mita Nihonjin [Japanese people as seen by Bigot]. Tokyo: Kodansha

Shimizu, I. 2006. Bigot ga mita Meiji Nippon [Meiji Japan as seen by Bigot]. Tokyo: Kodansha


Edoardo Chiossone

Edoardo Chiossone
By Miku Yoshida

Introduction

Do you know who drew the well-known portrait of Saigo Takamori that we have seen on our history textbooks? At the time, Japan had trouble with printing skills and taking photos. Japan did not have good printing skills, so they turned to Germany to help issue Japanese paper money. However, it was very costly. Then, Japan looked for a person who could lead Japanese printing technology in order to make money domestically. Japan finally met the Italian artist Edoardo Chiossone, who was invited to Japan as a foreign government advisor (お雇い外国人) and he made Japanese printing skills or production skills elevate to world-class levels.

Achievements

Edoardo Chiossone was credited with three major achievements. One of his achievements was education for young generation. His knowledge and technology were passed on to young generation and they promoted Japanese printing skills. The next one was building up a foundation of Japanese printing skills. At the time, Japan did not have skills to make paper money themselves, so domestic manufacture of paper money was a big challenge for Japan. Chiossone gave technical guidance to Japanese national printing bureau, and he manufactured various postal stamps, made paper money and portraits.

The third achievement is that he gave us facial impressions of historical personages thorough portraits in our history textbook. He drew many portraits and many of his works used in textbooks are famous among a wide range of people. Also, he has an interesting episode about the well-known portrait of Saigo Takamori. Actually, the portrait was drawn by Chiossone six years after Saigo passed away and he had never met Saigo before. Plus, there were no pictures of Saigo. That is why he combined the features of Saigo's younger brother (西郷従道) and his cousin (大山巌). So, it is said that Saigo's wife commented that the portrait does not look like him at all when she looked at it. Even thought the portrait does not present his real face, people think Saigo's face is like that. Chiossone keeps influencing people though his works.

Important points of our discussion

Q1. Japan was developed by other country’s help, especially in Meiji period. How do you feel about this? Is your impression negative or positive?

We had both positive and negative answers. Japan introduced Western culture and technology and then they became significant factors for Japan to develop many aspects of Japan. Western countries inspired Japan and Japan discovered new horizons. However, on the negative side, Japan looked like she was just following Western countries and had lost her identity. So, as a solution taking in both negative and positive ideas, Japan can combine Western and Japanese things, and Japan can use Western things as a trigger for Japan's new ideas in order to remake Western things into Japanese original things.

Q2. If he had not come to Japan, what would have happened to Japanese production skills? Would there have been any problems?

In the discussion, we had the same answer for Question 2. We felt he significantly promoted Japan, so Japan could not have got an opportunity for progress if Chiossone had not come to Japan. He was the first person to use portraits on paper money in Japan, so we would not have recent paper money without him. He has a important influence on Japan.

My reflection

Through this research, I learned many things, such as Japanese paper money history, real story of portraits which I saw in textbooks and so on. Also, I was impressed to know how significant non-Japanese people's power is. For example, thanks to Chiossone, Japan developed her printing technology and other important skills. It could be said that he contributed to make Japan's today possible. From this research, I got a chance to think about Japanese future and relation with other countries.


References

Asia-Europe Museum Network. (2014) .Edoardo Chiossone Museum of Oriental Art, Italy
http://asemus.museum/museum/museo-darte-orientale-edoardo-chiossone/

馬込と大田区の歴史を保存する会(2008)日本に骨を埋めたお雇い外国人 エドアルド・キヨッソーネ
http://www.photo-make.jp/hm_2/ma_21.html

こや(2014)幕末・明治の“顔”を描いたのはイタリア人だった
http://www.excite.co.jp/News/bit/00091100601863.html

明治美術学会/印刷局朝陽会編(中央公論美術出版 1999年)
「お雇い外国人キヨッソーネ研究」

柏木博 (講談社学術文庫 2000年 平凡社 1987年)
「肖像のなかの権力  近代日本のグラフィズムを読む」

John Batchelor; The father of the Ainu

John Batchelor
By Tomoki Ogawa

Did you know that Japan has another race and language? It’s Ainu. Ainu is an indigenous people in Japan. They originally lived in Ezo (Hokkaido) and had their own traditional cultures and histories. Due to the Meiji Restoration which included modernization and democratization, Japanese people who lived on mainland tried to assimilate the Ainu people to the standard of Japan. At that time, following national trends was usual but Ainu people’s life style was too different from the ordinary Japanese way of life. The Japanese nation’s forcible cultural assimilation made the Ainu confused since the nation prohibited Ainu’s traditional cultures, like earrings for man and tattooing of women. Furthermore, historical festivals, salmon fishing and deer hunting were necessary to survive. Against these policies, missionaries and doctors of foreign countries started the movement to uphold the Ainu’s human rights. John Batchelor was one of them.

John Batchelor was born in England in 1854 and he had 11 brothers. He was born in a wool merchant’s shop and his father was the mayor of Hartsfield city three times. The family was reverent Christian and Batchelor was also baptized. At 14 years old, he left junior high school and tried to be lawyer but he failed to pass the examination so he went on to a night school and engaged in farming. He also graduated from Islington seminary and School of Theology of Cambridge. After that, he entered St. Paul College in Hong Kong when he was 22 years old. However, after three months, he had to move to Japan because he suffered from local disease, malaria. He needed to go to a region which had similar conditions of England, and Japan has the Anglican Church in Hakodate of Hokkaido so he decided to go there.

After he arrived in Hakodate, he started to study Japanese and the Ainu language. One day, he met an Ainu boy and got to know about the cruel situations of the Ainu. Japanese people in the main land tried to cultivate Hokkaido by force, so the Ainu people were forced to be assimilated. In 1878, he visited Sapporo and met Kurotaka Kiyoda who was the leader of development of Hokkaido. The next year, he visited Hiratori and started missionary work. Penriuku, the head of the region, and the villagers were impressed by Batchelor’s enthusiasm. The head decided that Batchelor should stay at his house and teach Ainu language for three months. In 1881, he went back to England and studied divinity again for six weeks at Cambridge University. In 1884 when he was 30 years old, he married Luisa who was a younger sister of the head of Hakodate Anglican Church in the England Embassy in Tokyo. After the marriage, they decided to move to Horobetsu, southern part of Hokkaido and in 1888, he established a school for Ainu there, called Airui-gakkou. In 1892, he moved to Sapporo, the center of Hokkaido. He established a hospital and dormitories for students of the Ainu in Sapporo. Thanks to his donations, lots of Ainu people got a chance to go to school and contribute to Japanese society as teachers, veterinarians and radio operators. In 1932, he won the Order of the Sacred Treasure.

He studied the language and race of the Ainu and made an Ainu-Japanese-English dictionary (Kawaei-Santai-zisho) for the first time. Furthermore, he translated the Bible and hymns to Ainu. In 1940, he had to go back to England due to the outbreak of the world war. He hoped to come to Japan again after the end of the war, however he passed away due to cerebral hemorrhage in 1944 in England. Batchelor had contributed to protecting Ainu’s human rights so he is called “The father of Ainu” even now.

●Discussion questions

Why did he try to propagate Christianity among the Ainu?

Most members think that he wanted to save the Ainu by telling the way of Christianity. Batchelor strongly believed that people who believed in Christianity would be saved so he tried to save the Ainu whose culture was being penetrated by main land people. One member thought he want to invade Hokkaido by brainwashing the Ainu.

●Feelings about the person

Batchelor had a strong sense of justice to relieve the Ainu people. Japanese people who lived next to them could not think about Ainu’s feelings. However Batchelor, who came from a far away country, devoted his whole life to the Ainu. Most Japanese people, including me, did not know about him. I think Japanese education should add more power to history classes of compulsory education because Japanese people tend to judge other countries by only media reports or some superficial impressions, so knowing their heroes and admire them countries. I want a lot of Japanese people to know about his great achievements and cultivate a better understanding of foreign people.

【Reference list】

Morimoto, M. (2011). HOMAS (Japanese ver.) Retrieved January 14, 2015 from Hokkaido/ Massachusetts Society web site: http://www5.ocn.ne.jp/~homas/

Yamamoto, H. (2011). Hokkaido history walker. Retrieved January 14, 2015 from Hokkaido.net web site: http://rekitan.namara-hokkaido.net/column/?id=412

James Curtis Hepburn

James Curtis Hepburn
By Ayako Hirose

When you use a computer, how do you type Japanese? Most of the people utilize combination of alphabets to show Japanese letters. The creator of this system, Hepburn Romanization, is James Curtis Hepburn. Hepburn contributed to Japanese development not only as a creator of the Romanization system, but also as a doctor, educator, missionary, and an editor of Japanese English dictionaries.

Hepburn was born in Pennsylvania in 1815, and he learned medical science and became a physician. On the other hand, as he aspired to mission, he moved to Japan as a medical missionary in 1859.

He opened a small clinic in Yokohama for free because he wanted to help Japanese people while Tokugawa shogunate had prevented him to open it. At first, Japanese people had guarded against foreigners, but his tender attitude toward Japanese neighbors and developed Western medical techniques was attractive, so the clinic became crowded. Overall, he treated more than 10,000 patients in Japan.

He taught his knowledge to Japanese students with his wife. As Japanese people started realizing the importance of foreign language and studies, the shogunate offered Hepburn to teach it, and sent nine students. He taught Western medical science, and his wife, who used to be a teacher in New York, covered English education. Later, he established Hebon-juku which is a precursor of Meiji Gakuin University. And another teacher at Hebon-juku founded Ferris Jogakuin. It means Hepburn was concerned with foundation of two famous schools in Japan.

In addition, he worked as a missionary by translating the Bible. It was hard task because Christianity was prohibited by the shogunate in those days. Hepburn and other missionaries worried how to diffuse doctrine of Christianity, and they decided to translate the bible. They started the work in 1872. At first, they referred to Chinese Bible, so Hepburn’s experience in China and Chinese knowledge was useful. They published some books from 1875 to 1880.

Hepburn spoke Japanese fluently, but other American people could not. Usually American and Japanese needed Chinese interpreter who understand both English and Japanese. Therefore, he published Japanese English dictionary to learn Japanese in 1867. His dictionary was the first Japanese English dictionary.

However, Hepburn spent difficult time because those two languages have totally different letters. Then, he created Hepburn Romanization. Thanks to this system, Japanese characters can be written in alphabet.


As Hepburn worked in many fields, he influenced Japan in some ways. So I asked group members what was the most remarkable thing by Hepburn. Each of them had different interests. Hepburn dealt with Japanese people for free. One member seemed to be impressed by his kindness. And one person is interested in translation, so she thought his translation work was great. Others thought that Hepburn was a great educator because he was related to two Universities. Through this discussion, I was surprised because I could listen to various answers. I personally think that Hepburn Romanization was his greatest job because we use the system even today, so I had guessed that most of people would also think so. Actually, they pointed out other things and no one answered that Romanization is the best. I learned that evaluation sometimes differs quite a lot depending on the person.


Before I searched Hepburn, I had only known that “Hebon created Hepburn Romanization”. I did not even know that Hebon is kind of his nickname, and his real name was Hepburn, and I also had never heard that he actually came to Japan as a missionary. It was surprising that one person mastered such broad areas of knowledge, and brought many results. Though he was a missionary, some of his achievements had no relation to Christianity. Through listening to other presentation, I knew that like Hepburn, many missionaries came to Japan and worked on medical treatment, education and other studies. The number of Christians did not increase so much in Japan; however, their efforts enriched Japanese country and all the people living in Japan.


References

“James Curtis Hepburn” Wikipedia, retrieved 2014, December 12 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Curtis_Hepburn

Mochiduki, Y. (1987). ヘボンの生涯と日本語. Tokyo: Toyo Insatsu Kabushikigaisya.

Takaya, M. (1961). ヘボン. Tokyo: Nihon Rekishi Gakkai.

Ernest F. Fenollosa

Ernest Fenollosa
by Yusuke Suzuki

Introduction

Do you know Ernest Fenollosa? He was a non-Japanese who most loved the Japanese art in the world. He was a professor of philosophy and political economy at Tokyo Imperial University. As you can see, he was not related to art. In addition, he was not artist, and he had not done the art since 24 years old. However, he will be protecting the Japanese art from Japanese throughout history. That’s such unbelievable thing, because why did non-Japanese people protect the Japanese art from Japanese? It has a very shocking reason.

Personal History

Ernest Fenollosa was born in U.S in 1853. He was a very smart person. He studied philosophy and sociology at Harvard College, and he graduated at the top of the class. Then, he became interested in the art little by little.

After graduating, he was 24 years old; He went to the art school attached to Boston museum. However, his father committed suicide in the next year. He got shock, and he left the U.S and came to Japan. After coming to Japan, he came across the Japanese statue of Buddha, and Ukiyoe “浮世絵” (woodblock prints - Ed) immediately. Ironically, if his father had not died, he might not have come to Japan. In Japan, he taught political economy and philosophy at Tokyo Imperial University as a hired foreigner (oyatoi-gaikokujin) and investigated the Japanese art.

His Achievements

His biggest achievement was protecting Japanese art from a stupid Japanese movement. The Meiji government destroyed Japanese art after the Meiji Restoration, and in particular so many of statues of Buddha and Buddhist pictures were scrapped. That movement was called Haibutsu-Kisyaku “廃仏毀釈”. So many statues and pictures were scrapped, temples were destroyed, and Buddhist priests were forced to change a job by the government during the movement. It is like we were prohibited from eating Japanese food at this time. That’s so terrible. I can’t stand it. However, Japanese people did it at that time.

As a result, Japan lost huge amount of cultural assets. Meiji government was on the point of giving the power to the Shinto and Meiji Emperor. So, they prohibited the Buddhism. It was the reason why this movement was happened. Japanese denied its own culture. That is so ridiculous. I was also shocked at this happening, the same as Fenollosa.

Fenollosa gave an impassioned speech about the wonderfulness of Japanese art for Japanese and tried to create a movement. It took a long time. However, many Japanese noticed that by his effort. His passion for the Japanese art is so strong. For example, He named his son “Kano”. It means Japanese famous Japanese art denomination “Kano-ha” “狩野派”. In addition, he changed his religion from Christian to Buddhist. That is amazing.

Conclusion

I was glad to know about Fenollosa, because I like Japanese culture very much. Japanese art is so touching work and beautiful. Recently, I heard many times that many other countries' tourists are interested in Japanese culture and art. If Fenollosa hadn't come to Japan, Japanese culture might be changed. Fenollosa is the hero of Japanese art.


References

Bungei jankii paradaisu [Literary Junkie Paradise], (n.d.). Nihon no onjin Fenerosa [A benefactor of Japan, Fenollosa]. Retrieved 19 January 2015, from http://kajipon.sakura.ne.jp/kt/haka-topic36.html 

Philipp Franz von Siebold

Philipp Franz von Siebold
By Itsuo Kobayashi

Life of Siebold

Many Japanese may think Siebold was Dutch, but actually he was German. He was a physician, botanist and traveler. He was born into a family of doctors and professors of medicine in Wurzburg, Germany. He studied at Wurzburn University and became a medical doctor in 1820. He initially practiced medicine in Heidingsfeld, Germany. He was invited to the Netherlands by an acquaintance of the family and entered the Dutch military service in 1822. He was appointed ship’s physician on a frigate and traveled from Rotterdam to Batavia (present-day Jakarta) in the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia). He stayed in Batavia for approximately two weeks and then was sent to Dejima, Japan. He arrived at Dejima in 1823. Siebold was pretending to be Dutch as he worked at The Hirado Dutch Trading Post.

Dejima is an artificial island next to Nagasaki. Foreign trade with the Netherlands was done through this small island. Siebold worked in Dejima as physician and scientist of The Hirado Dutch Trading Post. He gained permission to leave Dejima and treated Japanese patients in Nagasaki as well.

In 1824, Siebold started a medical school, Narutaki-jyuku, in Nagasaki. Around fifty students studied there. Among them were Takano Chouei, Ninomiya Keisaku and Ishii Souken. They were doctors and studied Western medical sciences from Siebold at this school. The Dutch language was a commonly spoken language for academic study there. Siebold was strongly interested in Japan, especially in Japanese plants and animals. His students helped him collect samples of the local flora and fauna. Siebold sent samples of these plants and animals to the Netherlands.

The Siebold Incident happened in 1828. Siebold obtained detailed Japanese maps through his acquaintance, Takahashi Kageyasu, who was an astronomer. Siebold tried to bring these maps to the Netherlands, which was strictly prohibited by the Japanese government in those days. Instead, Takahashi Kageyasu obtained the latest world maps and valuable foreign books from Siebold. However, Siebold’s attempt to bring the maps to the Netherlands was not successful. The ship that the Japanese maps were loaded onto was stranded on the Nagasaki coast due to a typhoon and the maps were found by Japanese government officials. As a result, Siebold was arrested and exiled from Japan in 1829. The other Japanese who were involved were also arrested and some of them were punished severely. Siebold was exiled from Japan and returned to the Netherlands in 1830.

In 1858, Japan signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce(日蘭通商条約)with the Netherlands and Siebold’s banishment was rescinded. In 1859, almost 30 years after he left Japan, Siebold revisited Japan and became an advisor of the Tokugawa Shogunate for foreign policy. In 1862, he left Japan for the Netherlands and died in 1866 at the age of 70.

Discussion

Q1. Why was Siebold arrested and exiled from Japan?

One of the members in our group knew the reason. It was because Siebold tried to bring detailed Japanese maps to the Netherlands, which was strictly prohibited by the Japanese government in those days.

Q2. How do you think Siebold contributed to Japan and the Netherlands?

Our group members answered Siebold had taught medical sciences to the Japanese students at Narutaki-jyuku. I added the facts that Siebold introduced Japanese things and Japan to foreign countries by writing books such as Nippon, Flora Japonica and Fauna Japonica and by bringing samples of Japanese plants and animals.

Reflection

Through this project, I learned that Siebold had had a family in Nakasaki. Siebold didn’t get married, but he had a Japanese lover whose name was Kusumoto Taki. She was called Otaki-san. They had a daughter whose name was Kusumoto Ine. She was called “Oranda Oine オランダおいね”. Born in 1827 during the Edo era, of mixed heritage between the German Siebold and the Japanese Kusumoto Taki, Ine was discriminated against and struggled to become a doctor. She learned medical sciences from Ninomiya Keisaku and obstetrics from Ishii Souken. Both of them were Siebold’s students at Narutaki-jyuku. Kusumoto Ine became the first female doctor in Japan and worked as an obstetrician for decades in the Meiji era.

Siebold imparted European medical and surgical knowledge to Japan as well as exposing the world to Japan’s unique flora and fauna. Beukers (1997) stated that

“Von Siebold is well known in Japan: his teachings mobilized a small group of Japanese intellectuals to learn Dutch, to translate Western books on medical subjects, to establish schools and teach what they had learned, and to experiment with Western medical and surgical techniques. He is best known in the West for the information he brought back to Europe about Japanese flora and fauna.”

His museums such as the Siebold Memorial Museum in Nagasaki, Japan, and SieboldHuis in Leiden, the Netherlands, illustrate his achievements.


References

Beukers, H. (1997). The Mission of Hippocrates in Japan: The Contribution of Philipp Franz von Siebold. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Four Centuries of Netherlands-Japan Relations. Retrieved 25 Dec. 2014, from project muse website: https://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/bulletin_of_the_history_of_medicine/v073/73.4jannetta.html

Philipp Franz von Siebold (1796-1866) collector in Japan. (n.d.). Retrieved 23 Dec. 2014, from Sieboldhuis website: http://www.sieboldhuis.org/en/hetsieboldhuis/siebold

The Life of Ph. Fr. von Siebold. (2013). Retrieved 23 Dec. 2014, from Nagasaki Web City Siebold Memorial Museum: http://www.city.nagasaki.lg.jp/kanko/820000/828000/p009222.html

Yoshimura, A. (1993). The daughter of von Siebold, Tokyo : Kodansha

Make serious situation FUN!!

Image (2)
Image (1)
by Akari Matsumoto

Have you ever seen these pictures (1, 2)? You might have seen them when you were in junior high school or high school. These are helpful materials to understand history. Do you know who drew them? The answer is ... Georges Ferdinand Bigot. He is famous as an caricaturist (3).
Image (3)


Who is Bigot?

He is from France. He come to Japan as お雇い外国人(Oyatoi-gaikokujin - a foreign expert - Ed).

Why was he interested in Japan?

He studied drawing when he was in France. Through drawing he met people who loved Japanese art. And he saw Ukiyoe (Japanese woodblock prints - Ed) at Paris Exposition.

Then he became interested in Japan.

Did he draw political pictures at first?...No!

He began drawing Japanese daily life at first. It was rare thing because at that time Japanese people didn't care about daily life, because it was too usual so they didn't draw it. What he did next was drawing Government and international relations. At that time there were French people who were interested so he drew pictures for them.

As you know pictures help our imagination. In particular, it's hard to understand politics, so his pictures were good for French people. His pictures include humor like funny comics. It makes people have interest.

His thoughts about Japanese politics

He had opinion about Treaty revision (条約改正). Treaty revision is amending situation that Japan admit Extraterritoriality (治外法権) and doesn't have Tariff autonomy (関税自主権) and so on.

Extraterritoriality meant that Japan couldn't judge if foreigners committed crimes, even though it happened in Japan. Japan has to leave it to the country of the person who committed the crime.

Image (4)
Tariff autonomy means ability to set tax on trade. At that time, Japan didn't have it, so Japan had to follow tax which other countries set. If I were alive at that time, I might think Japan had to do Treaty revision soon, because I’m Japanese and these treaties are unfair for Japan. Japan didn't have right. On the other hand, Bigot didn't think so. Treaty revision might be not good for foreigners, including Bigot. Finally he left Japan.

His work is not famous in his country France but in Japan, his pictures are so important.

By the way, what do you think stereotype of Japanese people is? You might imagine like this picture (4). Japanese is short, wearing glasses, has an overbite, is working hard and so on. People say these images are made by Bigot.

These two are pictures Bigot drew:
Image (5)

Image (6)
But Bigot doesn't always drew Japanese like these and make fun of Japanese. He loves Japanese and respect Japanese.

I like Bigot

I like art and history. Sometimes, history is complicated especially world history is hard for me. But thanks to his work, his cartoons, I can understand.



















His cartoon makes serious situation like world relationship fun for example he draws country as person (7). It is easy to understand.

↓ Russia,Japan,UK and USA

Image (7)














One disappointing thing is he didn't understand Treaty revision. I hope he would cooperate with Japanese to do Treaty revision.


References

"Georges Bigot". (n.d.) In Wikipedia. Retrieved January 19, 2015, from
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%82%B8%E3%83%A7%E3%83%AB%E3%82%B8%E3%83%A5%E3%83%BB%E3%83%93%E3%82%B4%E3%83%BC

Naver Matome, (September 19, 2013). Furansu no Fuushigaka, Georges Bigot ga Mita Nihonjin [Meijijidai] [Japanese people as seen by French caricaturist Georges Bigot - Meiji Period]. Retrieved January 19, 2015, from http://matome.naver.jp/odai/2137904355726810601?&page=1

"Sutereotaipu" [Stereotypes]. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved January 19, 2015, from
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%82%B9%E3%83%86%E3%83%AC%E3%82%AA%E3%82%BF%E3%82%A4%E3%83%97


James Curtis Hepburn

James Curtis Hepburn
By Misato Yabe

James Curtis Hepburn is the person who published the Japanese-English dictionary and created the Hepburn styled Romanization. At first, he came to Nagasaki with his wife in 1859, and soon moved to Kanagawa and opened his own clinic at Sokoji-temple. Although he was an ophthalmologist, he conducted many kinds of surgery like leg amputation . He also treated two victims of “Namamugi Incident” [in which a British merchant was killed by samurai - Ed].

He really loved Japan and he had a strong wish to have Japanese servants in order to get used to Japanese customs, although many foreigners tended to have Chinese servants at that time. In addition, he declared to the American consul that he would never treat Americans in Japan, and would take care only of Japanese. Moreover, he thought obsessively about Japanese grammar with his friend, Brown. Actually, they were able to speak Chinese; therefore they thought that Japanese would be easier for them because they are similar. However, they realized that these two languages are completely different and Japanese is so deep and interesting. While Hepburn was sleeping, if Brown found a new answer for Japanese grammar, ho would sometimes wake him up and they would talk about it overnight.

In 1867, he published Japanese-English dictionary using Hepburn styled Romanization. Also he established Meiji Gakuin which is now Meiji Gakuin University. In Meiji Gakuin, there was a Hepburn building, and on September 21st 1911, the Hepburn building was burned with uncertain cause at the same time on the same day as Hepburn died.

Discussion

For the first discussion question, we thought about that the difficult points of learning Japanese. My group members told that we have so many kinds and ranks of expressions using honorifics, like Sonkei-go (the honorific expression), Kenjou-go (the humble expression), and Teinei-go (the polite expression). They also mentioned the difficulty of distinguishing between using kanji (Chinese characters), Hiragana and Katakana. Personally, I thought that the use of Joshi (the postpositional particle) might be difficult in Japanese. However, I have heard that listening to Japanese is easier than learning other languages. It was the first time to think about Japanese as the target language, and it was really interesting to talk with my members from the other point of view.

Furthermore, for the second question, which was more difficult than the upper one, it required imagination skill, that is “How do you think of the relationship to Hepburn’s death and the fire of the Hepburn building?” At first, some members thought that the person who really respected Hepburn burned the Hepburn building because of their sadness at his death. However, after I told that, actually Hepburn was not in Japan when he died, so many members told that Hepburn came and burned the building as a ghost because of his great love for Japan.

Reflection

In conclusion, it took only 8 years to publish the Japanese-English dictionary after Hepburn arrived in Japan, which means it was only 8 years since he started studying Japanese to publish the Japanese-English dictionary. I was really shocked to know the fact because it was more than 10 years ago when I started learning English, but I am still not a good English speaker. I think that the reason why he was able to be a good Japanese speaker in a short time is that Hepburn had a strong wish to master the language and to be like real Japanese. Therefore, he finally became the person who is really famous in Japan, and also his achievement made Japanese people more familiar with foreign languages.


References

Mochiduki, Y. (1987) Hepburn’s life and Japanese. Tokyo: Shincyou-sensyo.

William Smith Clark

William Smith Clark
By Tomomi Nakajima

Introduction

“Boys, Be Ambitious!” Have you ever heard this phrase? I think most people in Japan have heard this famous phrase at least once. William Smith Clark is the person who left these words to Japanese people. A lot of Japanese people treat this phrase as a witty remark that encourages young people to have a big dream or an ambition. However, did you know that this famous phrase, “Boys, Be Ambitious!” could just be a farewell? Moreover, Clark is treated as being very noble in Japan, but actually he is nearly forgotten in the U.S., which was his home country. Why? I would like to reveal these mysteries of William Smith Clark today.

Clark’s Colorful Life and the Mystery of the Words, “Boys, Be Ambitious!”

In 1826, Clark was born in Massachusetts State in the U.S. When Clark was 41 years old, he became the third president of the Massachusetts Agricultural College (University of Massachusetts Amherst). Then, Clark was invited to Japan as an “Oyatoi-Gaikokujin” [foreign experts - Ed] in 1876. He contributed to establish the Sapporo Agricultural College (Hokkaido University) and taught some academic subjects very passionately to his Japanese students there. Even though his stay in Japan was only for 8 months, he made a great achievement in Japan. In 1886, Clark died of heart disease at his home in the U.S.

If you see only the surface of Clark’s life, you might think his life was full of successes. However, Clark also experienced failures, and he was not popular in his own country. Actually, Clark was accused of fraud by sponsors when he started a business in the U.S. after coming back from Japan. Also, his personality had a problem. It was always difficult for him to maintain his high motivation on one thing, so he gave up things very easily and started new things one after another. Therefore, Clark was considered to be an irresponsible person in the U.S. As you can see, he experienced both successes and failures, so he is often described as a “colorful” person in the U.S.

When you hear the phrase, “Boys, Be Ambitious,” you probably get some positive impressions, like “Have a big dream!” or “Challenge anything you want!” According to the web site of the Hokkaido University Library (Sapporo Agricultural College), “Boys, Be Ambitious” referred to this translation. “Boys, be ambitious! Be ambitious not for money or for selfish aggrandizement, not for that evanescent thing which men call fame. Be ambitious for the attainment of all that a man ought to be.” However, American people think this was just farewell words for his Japanese students. So, they wonder why Japanese people have been impressed so much by the farewell words. Even though we do not know whether it was a mistranslation or not, one thing I am sure of is that Clark was really respected by his Japanese students so they translated Clark’s farewell to such meaningful words.

Summary of Group Discussion

I came up with three questions for the group discussion. Here are the questions that I asked to my group members.

1. Why do you think Clark was described as a “colorful” person?

2. What is your impression for the phrase, “Boys, Be Ambitious”?

3. What can you learn from his life?

For the question 1, one of the members thought Clark’s passionate personality is described with the word “colorful.” Moreover, some of my other group members and I thought Clark was interested in a lot of things, so he had many different faces. Also, he experienced both big success and failure, so the word “colorful” is very suitable to describe Clark.

For the question 2, most of my group members said their first impressions for the phrase were very positive, but they didn't translate this meaning to the long and stiff one that I introduced during the presentation. They just got the impression, like “Have a big dream!” from the phrase. My first impression for this phrase was noble, so I was a little bit disappointed to know that it might just be a farewell, but I think it does not matter. We can believe what we want to believe.

For the question 3, I could not bring out my group members' answers so much, but one of the members said that Clark failed in the U.S. because he was very irresponsible, so I think the member learned the importance of being responsible from Clark's life. In my case, I learned the importance of being patient and trying to achieve goals without giving up easily. Even though we have great talents, we might fail if we are impatient, like Clark.

Reflection on the Project

I had known about the phrase, “Boys, Be Ambitious!” and Clark somehow, but I did not know that there are so many interesting facts and side stories about him. We cannot see the essence of someone's life if we see only a surface of it, so I really appreciate that I had a great opportunity to learn about William Smith Clark deeply through this project. I was able to see the essence of Clark’s life by researching both good and bad aspects of him. So, I learned not only about Clark himself, but also the importance of seeing both good and bad aspects when we research one specific person deeply.

In the group discussion, we also asked each other if we can date or get married with Clark. For this question, I would like to answer that I would not want Clark to be my boyfriend or husband. The biggest reason why I would not want to get married with him is because Clark is really impatient. I thought it means he cannot keep loving me through his life, and he might find a lot of different women to stay with. However, one of my group members said that it can be very fun to be with Clark because he has many interests and great talents, too. So, she thinks she could date Clark, but she also said that she does not want to get married to him after all because of the same reason as me. Therefore, I can say that the biggest thing we learned from Clark’s life is that it is always good to be patient if we want to succeed in many situations.


References
New England Historical Society. (2014, March 19). Boys, Be Ambitious! The Japanese Legacy of Massachusetts' William Smith Clark. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from https://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/boys-ambitious-japanese-legacy-massachusetts-william-smith-clark/

University of Massachusetts. (n.d.). William Smith Clark, 1867-79. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.umassp.edu/president/clark