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He added "Fane" to his name in 1916.
In 1896, Ponsonby became the private secretary to the Governor of the British Cape Colony. Over the next twenty years, he was private secretary to the Governor of Natal (1896), to the Governor of Trinidad and Tobago (1898), to the Governor of Ceylon (1900), and to the Governor of Hong Kong (1903). He was re-posted to assist the Governor of Natal in 1907 and the Governor of Fiji in 1910.
In 1915-1919, he was re-posted as private secretary to the Governor of Hong Kong.
After 1919, Ponsonby-Fane became a permanent resident of Japan. In later life, he was always photographed with a long woolen scarf. It was hand-knit by Dowager Empress Teimei, the widow of Emperor Taishō.
Ponsonby-Fane died in Kyoto in December 1937.
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- The Imperial Family of Japan, 1915
- The Viciissitudes of Shinto, 1931
- The Nomenclature of the N. Y. K. Fleet, 1931
- Kamo Mioya Shrine, 1934
- Kyoto: the Old Capital of Japan, 794-1869, 1956
- The Imperial House of Japan, 1959
- Sovereiegn and Subject, 1962
- Studies in Shinto and Shrines, 1962
- The Vicissitudes of Shinto, 1963
- Visiting Famous Shrines in Japan, 1964
- Order of the Rising Sun
- Order of the Sacred Treasure, 1921
- University of Hong Kong, Honorary Doctor of Laws, 1926
- "A Biographical sketch of Dr. R. Ponsonby-Fane," Studies in Shinto and Shrines, p. 517.
- Britton, Dorothy. (1997). "Richard Ponsonby-Fane, A Modern William Adams" in Britain and Japan: Biographical Portraits. p. 193.
- Ponsonby-Fane, pp. 517-518.
- Ponsonby-Fane, p. 518.
- Britton, p. 194.
- Britton, p. 195.
- Ponsonby-Fane, pp. 518-519.
- Ponsonby-Fane, p. 520.
- Ponsonby-Fane, p. 519.
- Britton, p. 203.
- Ponsonby-Fane, p. 522.
- WorldCat Identities: Ponsonby-Fane, Richard Arthur Brabazon 1878-1937 ; retrieved 2012-10-29.