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Kan'ichi Asakawa


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In this Japanese name, the family name is Asakawa.
Asakawa in 1940

Kan'ichi Asakawa (朝河 貫一 Asakawa Kan'ichi?, December 20, 1873 – August 10, 1948)[1] was a Japanese academic, author, historian, librarian, curator and peace advocate.

Early life

He was born in Nihonmatsu, Japan. He studied at Waseda University in Tokyo.

In 1899, he earned a bachelor's degree (B.A.) at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.[2] He continued his studies at Yale University. He earned a doctor's degree (Ph.D.) in 1902.[3]

Career

He lectured at Dartmouth in 1902. In 1906-1907, he was a professor at Waseda.

In 1907, Asakawa was appointed curator of the East Asian Collection at Yale's Sterling Memorial Library.[3]

Asakawa was an instructor at Yale from 1907 through 1910 when became an assistant professor. He became the first Japanese professor at a major American university. He taught history at Yale for 35 years.[3] Among those he influenced was John Whitney Hall.[4]

Asakawa helped found Japan studies and Asian studies in the United States.

Politics

After the end of the Russo-Japanese War, Asakawa began to speak out against the growth of militarism in Japan. In 1941, he tried to prevent war between the US and Japan.[5]

Selected works

In an overview of writings by and about Kan'ichi Asakawa, OCLC/WorldCat includes roughly 110+ works in 220+ publications in 5 languages and 2,400+ library holdings.[6]

  • The Early Institutional Life of Japan. (1903) [7]
  • The Russo-Japanese Conflict: Its Causes and Issues (1905)
  • The Origin of Feudal Land-Tenure in Japan (1914)
  • The life of a monastic shō in medieval Japan (1919)
  • The documents of Iriki, illustrative of the development of the feudal institutions of Japan (1922)

His works also included contributions to the publications Japan edited by Frank Brinkley (1904); the History of Nations Series (1907); China and the Far East (1910); Japan and Japanese-American Relations (1912); and The Pacific Ocean in History (1917).

Legacy

Asakawa lived most of his life in the United States. In the history of the Japanese-Americans, he is considered among the Issei who were immigrants born in Japan.[8]

In 2007 the Asakawa Japanese garden at Yale, designed by Shinichiro Abe, was dedicated to mark the centennial of Asakawa's appointment as an instructor of history at Yale.

References

Further reading

Other websites