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Asian Studies

Existing Collection Strengths: Amherst College was the first American institution of higher education to grant a degree to a Japanese citizen, and the ties between the College and Asia are long-standing and significant. We hold archival collections related to Joseph Hardy Neesima (AC 1870), Kanzo Uchimura (AC 1887) and the founding of Doshisha University in Kyoto; the Howard Hamilton Collection of traditional Japanese theater; and the papers of John Dower, scholar of post-WWII Japanese politics and culture.

Cary, Otis (AC 1943). Family Papers
Otis Cary (AC 1943; 1921-2006) was a professor of history at Amherst College and served from 1947 to 1992 as the College's representative at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. Born in Japan, he was the son and grandson of Amherst graduates who went to Japan as Christian missionaries. His grandfather Otis Cary (AC 1872; 1851-1932) was a student with Niijima Jo (Joseph Hardy Neesima, AC 1870), who founded Doshisha in 1874. His father Frank Cary (AC 1911; 1888-1973) served a as a missionary in Japan from 1916 to 1960; during World War II he was a prisoner of war. His Letters From Internment Camp: Davao and Manila, 1942-1945 were published in 1993. Also during that war, Otis Cary was an officer in charge of more than 4,000 Japanese prisoners of war in Hawaii; he befriended many of them, and later when he went to Japan as a member of the American Occupation Forces he acted as an informal liaison with the prisoners' families. The Carys were the authors of many books on Japan and missionary work. The collection includes extensive correspondence, diaries, photographs, writings, publications, and ephemera. 

Doshisha University Materials:

  • Doshisha University Collection
  • Otis Cary Papers (see above)
  • Hashimoto, Marika (AC 2006), Papers from Doshisha Fellowship, 2006-2007
  • President Charles W. Cole - scrapbook, etc.
  • George A. Plimpton (AC 1876).  Materials related to the Dedication of the Amherst Building at Doshisha University, 1935-1936 (Bulk: 1935)
  • John Bates Clark (AC 1872) and Alden Hyde Clark (AC 1900) Family Papers, for information about Alden Hyde Clark’s work to establish the Amherst's relationship with Doshisha and the Doshisha Fellowship 

Dower, John W. (AC 1959). Papers
ca. 59 linear ft.
[currently in process]
Chiefly research materials related to Dower's scholarship in 20th century and contemporary Japanese history, including such topics as World War II in Asia, race and power, the atomic bomb, post-World War II occupied Japan, the Cold War in Asia, historiography (especially the Cold War and U.S. scholarship), war and memory, "cultures of war," and visual history.

Hamilton, Howard B. Japanese Theater Papers
ca. 1956-2007
ca. 30 linear ft.
Hamilton (1918-2007), a physician and medical researcher associated with the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission and the Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Hiroshima, Japan, was equally noted for his enthusiastic patronage of and participation in Japanese Noh theater, and for his lecture-demonstrations of Noh for English-speaking audiences.  The collection consists of several thousand photographs, albums, films, theater programs related to Noh, Kabuki and Bunraku, as well as a small number of props and costumes. (His collection of Japanese art and theater books will be cataloged separately. Many of his Japanese art and artifacts are also part of the Mead Art Museum's collections.)

Hartman, Doris.  Papers
ca. 1940-2011
ca. 7 linear ft.
American Christian missionary in Japan.  Letters, diaries, photograph albums, color slides, sermons, memorabilia and other materials documenting her career in Christian ministry in Vermont and (from 1952 to 1981) Hiroshima, Japan.

Kades, Charles L.  Papers.
1913-1997 (Bulk: 1945-1996)
17.5 linear ft.
Kades (1906-1996) was a lawyer and U.S. army officer who served in the Government Section of the General Headquarters of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP) in post-war Japan. He is best known for his role in drafting Japan's post-war constitution. The collection includes original and photocopied memoranda, drafts, and correspondence documenting the constitutional drafting process. It also includes contemporaneous translations of the Japanese parliamentary debates on the constitution. Additional material includes interview transcripts, correspondence with researchers, and other retrospective material on the constitution and on post-war Japan. A small amount of material documents Kades's work as a lawyer for the U.S. Public Works Administration, U.S. Treasury Department, and the New York law firm of Hawkins, Delafield, and Wood.

Kantō Earthquake, Japan, 1923. Photograph Albums.
0.25 linear ft.
Two bound albums containing photographic views of the Great Kantō Earthquake, which struck the Kantō Plain on September 1, 1923, and is considered to have been the deadliest earthquake in Japanese history. An estimated 6,400 people were killed and 381,000 houses were destroyed by fire.

Neesima-Uchimura Collection
1.75 linear ft.
Joseph Hardy Neesima (also known as Niijima Jo; AC 1870) and Kanzo Uchimura (AC 1887) were the first Japanese graduates of Amherst College. The collection contains correspondence, photographs, memorabilia, articles, scrapbooks and other materials by or these men or relating to their lives.


Japanese photography books

CJK ornithology books