Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dispatch from Jarvis32 re: the Iwakura Mission of 1872


Beholdmyswarthyface,

As you know, in 2007 the NY Times decided to end its policy of online paid subscription. Writing in September of that year,
In addition to opening the entire site to all readers, the Times will also make available its archives from 1987 to the present without charge, as well as those from 1851 to 1922, which are in the public domain. There will be charges for some material from the period 1923 to 1986, and some will be free.

This is good news for hagiographers like myself who can now work from home. Here’s an article I came across today, which I thought might be of interest to you. It’s from March 5, 1872, and is about the Iwakura Mission, which was, as far as I know, the very first delegation of Japanese envoys sent to the White House. Incidentally, the mission included about fifty girls, five of whom (see photo) were sent to study in the U.S. Here's a passage about the girls from the high school textbook, The Rise of Modern Japan:
The oldest was fourteen, the youngest six; none spoke English. The girls left Japan wearing the long-sleeved kimono proper for unmarried women, escorted by Mrs. Charles Delong, the wife of the American minister. The youngest girl, Tsuda Umeko, wore a red kimono. Her aunt overheard someone in the crowd whisper, "What heartless people their parents must be! Sending them to a barbarous land like America!"

-Jarvis32

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jarvis32,
I didn't know you were a hagiographer! Who's hagiography are you working on at the moment?

-Sally Suzuki

Anonymous said...

Beholdmyswarthyface,

I hope to hear from more voices in the future.
I hope you will forgive my impudence.

-Josh Lander

Anonymous said...

Behold!! my swarthy protools!
-Kurt

Anonymous said...

Sally,

Thanks for expressing interest in my current project, which is a hagiography of Gregory of Tours.

-Jarvis32

Anonymous said...

Jarvis,

But doesn't a hagiography of Gregory of Tours already exist? I recall someone having written one c. 540-594. You're not doing a hagiography of a hagiography, are you?

-Maggie

Anonymous said...

Idiot, that doesn't make sense, a "hagiography of a hagiography." A hagiography is, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, either a "biography of saints or venerated persons," or an "idealizing or idolizing biography." You can't write a biography of a biography.

-Ian Hogarth

Anonymous said...

Note: That should read "whose" not "who's."

-Sally Suzuki