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Manuscript Records of Traders, Travellers, Missionaries and Diplomats, 1853-1941

Part 4: The William Elliot Griffis Collection from Rutgers University Library - Collected Papers of Brown, Perry and others

This project makes available a wide range of English language sources by writers, diplomats, tourists, businessmen, missionaries and others documenting the political, cultural and social history of Japan from 1853 to the present.  Parts 2-5 are based on the papers of William Elliot Griffis, a great collector of material about Japan and one of the first oyatoi gaikokujin, or foreign employees of the Japanese government.  Part 4 features papers collected by Griffis (and Rutgers) including:

  • The Journals of Matthew Calbraith Perry and officers relating to the momentous voyages of 1853-54 and the 'opening up' of Japan.  These include the official flag journal kept by Flag Lieutenants Contee and Bent; Commodore Perry's own journal; two volumes of Lieut. Oliver Perry's journals; and Records of Official Conversations with Japanese officers. 
  • A transcribed oral account of the life and career of Guido Verbeck, the Dutch born and American trained pioneer missionary in Nagasaki, who inspired the Japanese Education Order of 1872 and taught western medicine.
  • Original manuscripts by John Mason Ferris recording early contacts between Ferris and the first ryugakusei; and Kawakami Isamu, on Japan in the aftermath of the Washington Disarmament Conference.
  • Autobiographical memoirs of life in Japan by Albert S Ashmead, James Balagh, Samuel Robbins Brown and Colin McBean.
  • Biographical sketches of leading figures in Japan including Kido Koin, Yokoi Shonan Bishop C M Williams, Hashimoto Sanai and Ryokichi Yatabe.
  • Essays on Japanese history, literature, industry and business.
  • Scrapbooks, lecture notes and correspondence of Silas Bent.
  • Original manuscripts of several of Richard Brunton’s works on Japan, including Pioneer Engineering in Japan.
  • Manuscripts of T Harada, A Miyamori, Amenomori Nobushige (the original manuscript of War and the Japanese Women) and Nishimura Shinji. 
  • The papers of Margaret Clark Griffis describing her experiences teaching girls in Japan (including a group of student essays that she commissioned). 

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