EDWIN OLDFATHER REISCHAUER (October 15, 1910 – September 1, 1990)
was an American educator and professor at
* 1 Early life and education * 2 Teaching career * 3 Personal life * 4 Later life * 5 Romanization of Korean
* 6 US policymaker
* 7 Illness and death * 8 Selected bibliography * 9 Honors * 10 Notable students * 11 See also * 12 References * 13 Sources * 14 External links
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Reischauer was born in Tokyo, Japan , the son of Presbyterian
educational missionaries Helen Sidwell Oldfather and August Karl
Reischauer. He attended the
American School in Japan and graduated
with a B.A. from Oberlin in 1931. On his 75th birthday, he recalled
publicly that his aim in life in 1931 was to draw attention to
He earned his
His teaching career of 40 years was spent at Harvard, where he and John King Fairbank developed a popular undergraduate survey of East Asian history and culture. The course, which was known as "Rice Paddies," was the basis for their widely-influential two textbooks, East Asia: The Great Tradition (1958) and East Asia: The Modern Transformation (1965). Reischauer wrote both for fellow scholars and for the general public, including Japan: Story of a Nation, which appeared in several editions. He served as director of the Harvard–Yenching Institute and chairman of the Department of Far Eastern Languages. In a farewell lecture at the Yenching Institute in 1981, students had to compete for seats with faculty colleagues, university officials, and a television crew from Japan.
In that crowded scene, he said, "As I remember, there were only two graduate students interested in East Asian studies when I first came here: myself and my brother."
On January 17, 1955, Reischauer's wife, (Elinor) Adrienne Danton
Reischauer, died of a heart ailment. They had married in
In 1973, he was the founding Director of the Japan Institute, which was renamed the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies in his honor when he turned 75, in 1985.
Reischauer was also honored in 1985 by the opening of the Edwin O.
Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at the Paul H. Nitze School
of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), part of Johns Hopkins
University . Speaking at the dedication ceremonies in
ROMANIZATION OF KOREAN
George M. McCune , Reischauer in 1939 published the
WORLD WAR II AND AFTERWARD
On September 14, 1942, three years before the end of World War II, Reischauer, then an instructor in Far Eastern languages at Harvard University, wrote the "Memorandum on Policy towards Japan." It laid out a plan on how the US could attain its postwar objective of "winning the peace" in Asia. According to Japanese historian Takashi Fujitani, the memo revealed a "condescension toward Japanese people" and a "purely instrumentalist and manipulative stance." In the abstract to his article, "The Reischauer Memo: Mr. Moto, Hirohito, and Japanese American Soldiers," Fujitani wrote:
Already at this early date in the war, Reischauer proposed retention
of the Japanese emperor as head of a postwar “puppet regime” that
would serve U.S. interests in East
MYTH OF SAVING KYOTO
During the war, Reischauer was a Japan expert for the US Army
Intelligence Service , and a myth developed after the war that he
prevented the nuclear bombing of
I probably would have done this if I had ever had the opportunity,
but there is not a word of truth to it. As has been amply proved by my
friend Otis Cary of Doshisha in Kyoto, the only person deserving
credit for saving
US BASES IN OKINAWA
A "secret" memorandum, declassified in 1996, detailing the
conversation among top US military and civilian officials on July 16,
1965 in Tokyo, revealed a plan put forward by Reischauer, then serving
US Ambassador to Japan , to enable the US both to keep its
military bases to introduce nuclear weapons in
He said that "if Japan would accept nuclear weapons on Japanese soil,
All that "became key elements the 1969 U.S.-Japan
Since the 1950s, Japan's Liberal Democratic government has solemnly
and repeatedly affirmed three basic principles about nuclear weapons:
not to make them, possess them or allow them into the country. In
1960, with the signing of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, Washington
agreed not to "introduce" nuclear weapons into Japan. Two weeks ago,
however, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan
Edwin O. Reischauer
The secret memo also revealed Reischauer's proposed countermeasures
to quell "nationalistic reaction" to continuing US military presence
in Okinawa. In his article, "'Secret' 1965 Memo Reveals Plans to Keep
U.S. bases and Nuclear Weapons Options in
To reduce the risk of “disturbances” in Okinawa, Reischauer proposed an increase in U.S. aid, revision of the Price Act to increase compensation for owners of land the U.S. had seized for base construction, and a loosening of the ban on flying the Japanese flag. It is difficult to measure precisely his influence at the time, but all three of these recommendations became U.S. policy.
ILLNESS AND DEATH
In 1964, while serving as Ambassador to Japan, Reischauer was stabbed in an assassination attempt. His attacker was captured and deemed by authorities to be mentally disturbed. He apparently acted alone and had no connection to any group or cause. In the aftermath of the violence, Japan's Minister of Public Safety was compelled to resign.
Reischauer received a blood transfusion and recovered from his wound, but the transfusion infected him with hepatitis for the rest of his life. Although he continued to work and lead an active life, he eventually died from the complications of hepatitis.
In a statistical overview derived from writings by and about
* The Romanization of the Korean language, Based Upon Its Phonetic
Structure (1939) with G. M. McCune
* Elementary Japanese for University Students (1942) with S.
* Japan, Past and Present (1946; rev. ed. 1963)
* The United States and Japan (1950; rev. ed. 1957, 1965)
* Translations from Early Japanese Literature (1951) with Joseph
* Ennin's Travels in T'ang China (1955)
* Ennin\'s Diary: The Record of a Pilgrimage to China in Search of
the Law (1955), translated from Chinese
* Wanted: An Asian Policy (1955)
* Our Asian Frontiers of Knowledge (1958)
* East Asia: The Great Tradition (1960) with J. K. Fairbank
* East Asia, The Modern Transformation (1965) with J. K. Fairbank
and A. M. Craig
* A History of East Asian Civilization (1965)
* Beyond Vietnam: The United States and
Gail Lee Bernstein , (
University of Arizona
* Japan portal * United States portal
Edwin O. Reischauer Memorial House
* ^ My Life between Japan and America by Edwin O. Reischauer, John
Weatherhill, Inc., pp. 162-163
* ^ "Edwin O. Reischauer". Reischauer Institute of Japanese
Studies, Harvard University. Archived from the original on 2014-07-04.
Retrieved July 17, 2014.
* ^ A B "Reischauer is Feted in Capital". The New York Times.
October 16, 1985.
* ^ A B Zurndorfer, Harriet Thelma. (1995). China Bibliography: A
Research Guide to Reference Works About China Past and Present, p. 31
* ^ Schulman, Frank Joseph. (1970). Japan and Korea: An Annotated
Bibliography of Doctoral Dissertations in Western Languages,
1877–1969, p. 909. (Reischauer 1610)
Edwin O. Reischauer
* Chapin, Emerson. "Edwin Reischauer, Diplomat and Scholar, Dies at
79," New York Times. September 2, 1990.
* Deptula, Nancy Monteith and Michael M. Hess. (1996). The Edwin O.
Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies: A Twenty-Year Chronicle.
Cambridge: Reischauer Institute, Harvard University.
* Haberman, Clyde. "Books, East and West: My Life Between Japan and
America by Edwin O. Reischauer," New York Times. August 20, 1986.
* McDowell, Edwin. "Major Encyclopedia on Japan Written In English."
New York Times. October 11, 1983.
* Packard, George R.
Edwin O. Reischauer
* v * t * e
United States Ambassadors to Japan
* Harris * Pruyn * Van Valkenburgh * DeLong
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
* DeLong * Bingham * Hubbard * Swift * Coombs * Dun * Buck * Griscom
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
* Wright * O\'Brien * Bryan * Anderson * Guthrie * Moris * Warren * Woods * Bancroft * MacVeagh * Castle * Forbes * Grew * Murphy * Allison * MacArthur * Reischauer * Johnson * Meyer * Ingersoll * Hodgson * Mansfield * Armacost * Mondale * Foley * Baker * Schieffer * Roos * Kennedy * Hagerty
* v * t * e
Presidents of the Association for Asian Studies
Arthur W. Hummel Sr.
* Harold S. Quigley (1950)
* Robert B. Hall (1951)
Rupert Emerson (1952)
Felix M. Keesing (1953)
Kenneth Scott Latourette (1954)
Edwin O. Reischauer
* W. Norman Brown (1960) * Lauriston Sharp (1961) * Earl H. Pritchard (1962) * William W. Lockwood (1963) * Arthur F. Wright (1964) * Knight Biggerstaff (1965) * Karl J. Pelzer (1966) * John Whitney Hall (1967) * Holden Furber (1968) * Wm. Theodore de Bary (1969)
* Cora DuBois (1970) * C. Martin Wilbur (1971) * Robert E. Ward (1972) * George T. Kahin (1973) * Richard D. Lambert (1974) * Ping-ti Ho (1975) * Marius B. Jansen (1976) * John M. Echols (1977) * Richard L. Park (1978) * Benjamin I. Schwartz (1979)
* Eleanor Jorden (1980) * Paul Wheatley (1981) * Ainslie T. Embree (1982) * G. William Skinner (1983) * James William Morley (1984) * Frank H. Golay (1985) * Susanne Hoeber Rudolph (1986) * Rhoads Murphey (1987) * Robert J. Smith (1988) * Stanley J. Tambiah (1989)
Barbara Stoler Miller (1990)
Albert Feuerwerker (1991)
* Tetsuo Najita (1992)
David K. Wyatt (1993)
Barbara Daly Metcalf (1994)
Evelyn Sakakida Rawski (1995)
Carol Gluck (1996)
* James Scott (1997)
* Peter Duus (2000) * Charles F. Keyes (2001) * David Ludden (2002) * James L. Watson (2003) * Mary Elizabeth Berry (2004) * Barbara Watson Andaya (2005) * Anand Yang (2006) * Elizabeth J. Perry (2007) * Robert Buswell (2008) * Robert W. Hefner (2009)
* K. Sivaramakrishnan (2010)
Gail Hershatter (2011)
Ted Bestor (2012)
Thongchai Winichakul (2013)
Mrinalini Sinha (2014)