- William Elliot Griffis
William Elliot Griffis (
September 17, 1843– February 5, 1928) was an American orientalist, Congregational minister, lecturer, and prolific author.Brown, John Howard. (1904). [http://books.google.com/books?id=Q1IDAAAAYAAJ&pg=PT450&lpg=PT450&dq=william+elliot+griffis+and+wilhelmina&source=web&ots=OOX-e7xrfM&sig=px1y1n7ptaHLbU5BHoOwVIhUVMM&hl=en#PPT450,M1 "Griffis, William Elliot,"] "The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans." Boston: The Biographical Society.] Griffis was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of a sea captain and later a coal trader. During the Civil War, he served three months in the 44th Pennsylvania Volunteers regiment after Robert E. Leeinvaded Pennsylvania in 1863. After the war, he attended Rutgers Universityat New Brunswick, New Jersey, grduating in 1869. [see above] ] At Rutgers, Griffis was an English and Latin tutor for Taro Kusakabe , a young " samurai" from the province of Echizen (part of modern Fukui).
After a year of travel in Europe, he studied at the Seminary of the
Dutch Reformed Churchin New Brunswick (known today as the New Brunswick Theological Seminary). [see above] ]
Modernizer in Japan
In September 1870 Griffis was invited to
Japanby Matsudaira Shungaku, for the purpose of organizing schools along modern lines. In 1871, he was Superintendent of Education in the province of Echizen. [http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F40617FE3A59127A93C4A91789D85F4C8285F9&scp=15&sq=order+of+meiji&st=p "Dr. Griffis, Friend of Japan, Dies; Educator Who Helped Japanese Adapt Themselves to Western Civilization,"] "New York Times." February 6, 1928.] In recompense, he was provided with a salary of $2,400, a house in Fukui and a horse.
In 1872-74, Griffis taught chemistry [see above] ] and physics at "Kaisei Gakko" (forerunner of
Tokyo Imperial University). [see above] ] He prepared the "New Japan Series of Reading and Spelling Books," 5 vols. (1872). [see above] ] He also published primers for Japanese students of the English language; and he and contributed to the Japanese press and to newspapers and magazines in the United States numerous papers of importance on Japanese affairs.
Griffis was joined by his sister, Margaret Clark Griffis, who became a teacher at the Tokyo Government Girls' School (later to become the Peeresses' School). By the time they left Japan in 1874, the Griffis had befriended many of Japan's future leaders.
He was a member of the
Asiatic Society of Japan, the Asiatic Society of Korea, the Historical Society of the Imperial University of Tokyo, and the Society of the Sixth Year of Meiji. [see above] ]
Education and ministry
Returning to the United States, Griffis attended Union Theological Seminary; and after finishing his studies in 1877, he was called to the ministry in a series of churches -- at the First Reformed Church, Schenectady,
New York(1877-1886); at the Shawmut Congregational Church, Boston, Massachusetts(1886-1893); and at the First Congregational Church, Ithaca, New York (1893-1903). Concurrently, at Union Collegein 1884, he earned a higher degree, Doctor of Divinity(D.D.). Rutgers awarded him an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters(L.H.D.) in 1899. [see above] ]
Writing and lectures
In 1903 he resigned from the active ministry to devote himself exclusively to writing and lectures. authorship and lecturing. His books on Japan and Japanese culture were complemented with extensive college and university lecture circuit itineraries. In addition to his own books and articles during this period, he also joined
Inazo Nitobein crafting what became his most well-known book, "Bushido: The Soul of Japan".
The prolific writer was also a prolific traveller, making eleven trips to Europe -- primarily to visit the
Netherlands. In 1898, he was at the enthronement of Queen Wilhelmina; [see above] ] and he attended the Congress of Diplomatic History. He was amongst the group of Bostonians who wanted to commemorate the Pilgrim's roots in Holland; and the work was rewarded with the dedication of a memorial at Delfshavenand the placement of five other bronze historical tablets in 1909. [see above] ] He was one of four Americans elected to the Netherlands Society of Letters in Leiden. [see above] ]
In 1926, he was invited to return to Japan for the award of a second
Order of the Rising Sun. A private rail car was provided by the Japanese government, and he visited several cities in the course of this return trip. [see above] ]
Griffis was a founding member of the
National Institute of Arts and Letters(later to become the American Academy of Arts and Letters), the American Historical Association, and the U.S. Naval Institute. He died at his Winter home in Florida in 1928. [see above] ]
One of Griffis' sons,
Stanton Griffis, who would become U.S. Ambassador to Poland, Egypt, Spain and Argentina under President Truman. Stanton Griffis was ambassador while Juan and Eva Peron were in power and wrote of his experiences in a book titled "Lying In State".
Order of the Rising Sun
** 4th Class, 1907. [http://www.adam-matthew-publications.co.uk/digital_guides/japan_through_western_eyes/chronology.aspx Adam Mathew web.] ]
** 3rd Class, 1926. [ [http://www.adam-matthew-publications.co.uk/digital_guides/japan_through_western_eyes/publishers%20note.aspx William Elliot Griffis Collection, Alexander Library, Rutgers University.] ]
Griffis' life and publications are here organized chronologically. [see above] ]
* 1843 - Born September 17 in Philadelphia, the fourth child of seven and second son to John Limeburner Griffis and Anna Maria (Hess) Griffis.
* 1850 - Observes the launching of the "USS Susquehanna" in Philadelphia. The Susquehanna, the largest steamship yet commissioned by the US Navy, was to be Commodore M C Perry's flagship on the 1853-1854 Naval Expedition to Japan.
* 1860 - Sees the Shogun's Mission, the first Japanese Embassy to the US, when it visits Philadelphia.
* 1863 - Serves in Pennsylvania's 44th Regiment in the Civil War.
* 1866 - Enters
* 1869 - Graduates with AB (Bachelor of Arts degree) from Rutgers College. In the summer, tours Europe with his sister, Margaret Clark Griffis, and family friend, Edward Warren Clark.
* 1870 - Sails for Japan to organize schools in
* 1871 - Named Superintendent of Education in Echizen.
* 1872 - Awarded AM (Master of Arts degree) from Rutgers College. Publishes, in
Yokohama, "The New Japan Primer" and "The New Japan Pictorial Primer".
* 1872-74 - Serves as Professor of Physics at the Imperial University, Tokyo. In 1872, Griffis's sister Margaret Clark Griffis joins him in Tokyo, and is appointed teacher, and then principal, of the first government school for girls (to become the Tokyo Female Normal School).
*1873 - Publishes "The Tokio Guide" and "The Yokohama Guide" (Yokohama).
* 1874 - Griffis and Margaret Clark Griffis return to America.
* 1876 - Publishes "
The Mikado's Empire".
* 1877 - Graduates from
Union Theological Seminary.
* 1877-86 - Serves as Pastor of the First Reformed Church,
* 1879 - Marries Katherine L. Stanton (1859-98).
* 1880 - Publishes "Japanese Fairy World: Thirty-five Stories from the Wonderlore of Japan."
* 1882 - Publishes "Corea: the Hermit Nation."
* 1883 - Lillian Eyre Griffis (daughter) born in Schenectady.
* 1884 - Awarded DD (Doctorate of Divinity) from
* 1885 - Publishes "Corea: Without and Within."
* 1886-93 - Serves as Pastor of the Shawmut Congregational Church in
* 1887 - Stanton Griffis (first son) born in Boston. Publishes "."
* 1889 - Publishes "The Lily Among Thorns: A Study of the Biblical Drama Entitled "The Song of Songs"."
* 1890 - Publishes "." [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9505E7D71E3BE533A25757C2A9649D94619ED7CF "Art Notes,"] "New York Times." December 24, 1890.]
* 1891 - Publishes "Sir William Johnson and the Six Nations, and an edition of The Arabian Nights."
* 1892 - Publishes "Japan: In History, Folklore and Art."
* 1893 - John Elliot Griffis (second son) born in Boston.
* 1893-1903 - Serves as Pastor of the First Congregational Church,
* 1894 - Publishes "Brave Little Holland and What She Taught Us."
* 1895 - Publishes "The Religions of Japan From the Dawn of History to the Era of Meiji: Shinto, Buddhism and Confucianism," and "
Townsend Harris, First American Envoy in Japan" [an edition of Harris's journals] .
* 1897 - Publishes "The Romance of Discovery: A Thousand Years of Exploration and the Unveiling of Continents."
* 1898 - Publishes ";" "The Romance of American Colonization;" "The Pilgrims in Their Three Homes." Katherine Stanton Griffis dies in Ithaca on December 9.
* 1899 - Publishes "America in the East: A Glance at Our History, Prospects, Problems and Duties in the Pacific Ocean"; "The Romance of Conquest: The Story of American Expansion Through Arms and Diplomacy."
* 1899 - Awarded LHD by Rutgers College.
* 1900 - Marries Sarah Frances King (1868-1959). Publishes "The American in Holland: Sentimental Rambles in the Eleven Provinces of the Netherlands;" "The Pathfinders of the Revolution: A Story of the Great March into the Wilderness and Lake George Region of New York in 1779;" and "."
* 1901 - Publishes "In the Mikado's Service: A Story of Two Battle Summers in China."
* 1902 - Publishes "A Maker of the New Orient: Samuel Robbins Brown, Pioneer Educator in China, America, and Japan, the Story of his Life and Work," and "Mighty England - Our Old Home."
* 1903 - Resigns pastorate to write and lecture full time. Publishes "John Chambers: Servant of Christ and Master of Hearts, and his Ministry in Philadelphia;" "Sunny Memories of Three Pastorates;" and "Young People's History of Holland."
* 1904 - Publishes "Dux Christus: An Outline Study of Japan."
* 1907 - Decorated with the Order of the Rising Sun, Fourth Class, by the Emperor of Japan. Publishes "The Japanese Nation in Evolution: Steps in the Progress of a Great People," and "Christ, the Creator of the New Japan."
* 1908 - Publishes "The Firefly's Lovers and Other Fairy Tales of Old Japan."
* 1909 - Publishes "The Story of the New Netherlands, the Dutch in America."
* 1911 - Publishes "China's Story in Myth, Legend, Art and Annals", and "The Unmannerly Tiger and Other Korean Tales."
* 1912 - Publishes "A Modern Pioneer in Korea: The Life Story of Henry G Appenzeller"; "Might England: the Story of the English People;" "The Call of Jesus to Joy;" "Belgium, the Land of Art."
* 1913 - Publishes "." Margaret Clark Griffis dies in Ithaca, December 15.
* 1914 - Publishes" The House We Live In, Architect and Tenant: Talks About the Body and the Right Use of It."
* 1915 - Publishes '; '; "The Story of Belgium".
* 1916 - Publishes "Bonnie Scotland and What We Owe Her".
* 1918 - Publishes "Dutch Fairy Tales".
* 1919 - Publishes "Belgian Fairy Tales".
* 1920 - Publishes "Swiss Fairy Tales"; "Young People's History of the Pilgrims".
* 1921 - Publishes "Welsh Fairy Tales"; "The Dutch of the Netherlands in the Making of America".
* 1922 - Publishes "Korean Fairy Tales"; "Japanese Fairy Tales".
* 1923 - Publishes "The Story of the Walloons, at Home, in the Lands of Exile and in America".
* 1924 - Publishes "Proverbs of Japan: A Little Picture of the Japanese Philosophy of Life as Mirrored in Their Proverbs".
* 1926 - Publishes "The American Flag of Stripes and Stars: Mirror of the Nation's History, Symbol of Brotherhood and World Unity".
* 1926-27 - With Frances King Griffis, journeys to Japan for the second time, stopping in Korea and Manchuria.
* 1926 - Decorated with the Order of the Rising Sun, Third Class.
* 1928 - Dies in Florida, February 5.
* 1876 -- "
The Mikado's Empire"
* 1880 -- "Japanese Fairy World"
* 1881 -- "Asiatic History; China, Corea, and Japan"
* 1882 -- "Corea, the Hermit Nation"
* 1885 -- "Corea, Without and Within"
* 1887 -- "
Matthew Calbraith Perry"
* 1889 -- "The Lily among Thorns"
* 1890 -- "."
* 1891 -- "
Sir William Johnson and the Six Nations"
* 1892 -- "Japan in History, Folk-Lore, and Art"
* 1894 -- "Brave Little Holland and What she Taught us"
* 1895 -- "The Religions of Japan"
* 1895 -- "
Townsend Harris, First American Envoy in Japan"
* 1897 -- "Romance of Discovery"
* 1898 -- ""
* 1898 -- "Romance of American Colonization"
* 1898 -- "The Pilgrims in their Three Homes"
* 1898 -- "The Student's Motley"
* 1899 -- "The Romance of Conquest"
* 1899 -- "The American in Holland"
* 1899 -- "America in the East"
* 1900 -- "Verbeck of Japan"
* 1900 -- "The Pathfinders of the Revolution"
* 1901 -- "In the Mikado's Service"
* 1902 -- "A Maker of the New Orient"
* 1903 -- "Young People's History of Holland"
* 1903 -- "Sunny Memories of Three Pastorales"
* 1904 -- "Dux Christus: An Outline Study of Japan"
* 1907 -- ""
* 1908 -- "
The Fire-fly's Lovers and Other Fairy Tales of Old Japan"
* 1909 -- "The Story of New Netherland"
* 1910 -- "China's Study in Myth, Legend, Art, and Annuals"
* 1911 -- "The Unmannerly Tiger and Other Korean Tales"
* 1912 -- "A Modern Pioneer in Korea: The Life Story Of
Henry G. Appenzeller"
* 1913 -- "Hepburn of Japan"
* 1914 -- "The House We Live In Architect and Tenant"
* 1915 -- "
The Mikado Institution and Person"
* 1915 -- "
* 1916 -- "Bonnie Scotland and What We Owe Her"
* 1918 -- "Dutch Fairy Tales"
* 1919 -- "Belgian Fairy Tales"
* 1920 -- "Young People's History of the Pilgrims"
* 1920 -- "Swiss Fairy Tales"
* 1921 -- "Welsh Fairy Tales"
* 1921 -- "The Dutch of the Netherlands in the Making of America" [reprinted by Kessinger Publishing, Whitefish, Montana, 2007. 10-ISBN 0-548-61147-5; 13-ISBN 978-0-548-61147-0 (paper)]
* 1922 -- "Korean Fairy Tales"
* 1922 -- "Japanese Fairy Tales"
* 1923 -- "The Story of the Walloons, at Home, in the Lands of Exile and in America"
* 1924 -- "Proverbs of Japan: A Little Picture of the Japanese Philosophy of Life as Mirrored in Their Proverbs"
* 1926 -- "The American Flag of Stripes and Stars: Mirror of the Nation's History, Symbol of Brotherhood and World Unity"
* Griffis, William Elliot. (1898). "Charles Carlton Coffin: War Correspondent, Traveller, Author and Statesman. Boston: Estes and Lauriat. [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/22238 ...Click for digitized, full-text copy of this book] .
* __________. (1915). "
Millard Fillmore: Constructive Statesman, Defender of the Constitution." Ithaca: Aldrus & Church. [http://books.google.com/books?id=k10NPmSteYgC&printsec=toc&dq=millard+fillmore+constructive+statesman&source=gbs_summary_r#PPP5,M1 ... Click for digitized, full-text copy of this book.]
* __________. (1908). "The Fire-fly's Lovers and Other Fairy Tales of Old Japan." New York: Crowell & Company. [reprinted by University Press of the Pacific, 2003. ISBN 1-410-20957-1] , [reprinted by Kessinger Publishing, Whitefish, Montana, 2006. 10-ISBN 1-428-61402-8] , [reprinted by Juniper Grove, 2007. 10-ISBN 1-603-55053-4; 13-ISBN 978-1-603-55053-6 (paper)] [http://www.archive.org/details/fireflysloversot00grif ... Click link for digitized, full-text copy of this book.]
* __________. (1895) "
Townsend Harris, First American Envoy in Japan." New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company. [http://books.google.com/books?id=IGNCAAAAIAAJ&dq=griffis+townsend+harris ... Click for digitized, full-text copy of this book.]
** __________. (1919). [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9E01E1DE133BEE32A2575BC2A9649D946896D6CF&scp=1&sq=Townsend+Harris%2C+Centre+of+Japanese+Drama%3B+Adventures+of+First+American+Envoy+to+Mikado%27s+Empire+Furnish+the+Basis+of+a+Play+by+a+Native+Writer%2C+and+Tokio+Is+Applauding+the+Stars+and+Stripes.&st=p "Townsend Harris, Center of Japanese Drama; Adventures of First American Envoy to Mikado's Empire Furnish the Basis of a Play by a Native Writer, and Tokio Is Applauding the Stars and Stripes,"] "New York Times Magazine." December 28, 1919.
* __________. (1913). "Hepburn of Japan and His Wife and Helpmates: A Life Story of Toil for Christ." Philadelphia: Westminster Press. Publishing. [http://books.google.com/books?id=uQUFAAAAYAAJ&printsec=titlepage&dq=Hepburn+of+Japan+and+Griffis&source=gbs_summary_r ... Click for digitized, full-text copy of this book.]
* __________. (1890). "Honda the Samurai: A Story of Modern Japan." Chicago: Congregational Sunday School and Publishing Society. [http://www.archive.org/details/hondsamuraistory00grifiala ...Click for digitized, full text copy of this book.]
* __________. (1907). "Japanese Nation in Evolution: Steps in the Progress of a Great People." New York: T. Y. Crowell & Company. [http://books.google.com/books?id=OJnCSm950LgC&dq=Japanese+Nation+in+Evolution&source=gbs_summary_s&cad=0 ...Click for digitized, full-text copy of this book.]
** cite news
title=THE ARYAN STRAIN IN THE JAPANESE; Dr. Griffis Attributes Genius of the Islanders to White Ancestry -- Difficulties of the Thesis.
New York Times
accessdate=2008-08-09 "New York Times." June 27, 1908.
** "Book reviewThe Japanese Nation in Evolution. Steps in the Progress of a Great People. Bulletin of the American Geographical Society, Vol. 40, No. 4, 256. 1908.
* __________. (1891). "Sir
William Johnsonand the Six Nations." New York: Dodd, Mead and Company. [http://books.google.com/books?id=KO8hAAAAMAAJ&dq=griffis+william+elliot&source=gbs_summary_s&cad=0 ...Click for digitized, full-text copy of this book.]
** cite news
title=JOHNSTOWN'S SIR WILLIAM.; SIR WILLIAM JOHNSON AND THE SIX NATIONS. By William Elliot Griffis. (Makers of America Series.) New-York: Dodd, Mead & Co.
New York Times
accessdate=2008-08-09 "New York Times." November 15, 1891.
* __________. (1876). "The Mikado's Empire." Philadelphia: Harper & Brothers. [http://books.google.com/books?id=76QBAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA172&dq=he+mikado's+empire&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=0_2#PPA3,M1 ... Click for digitized, full-text copy of this book.]
* __________. (1915). "The Mikado Institution and Person." Princeton:
Princeton University Press. [reprinted by Adamant Media Corporation, New York, 2000. 13-ISBN 978-1-402-10824-2 (cloth) -- 13-ISBN 978-1-402-18652-3 (paper). [http://books.google.com/books?id=uQUFAAAAYAAJ&printsec=titlepage&dq=Hepburn+of+Japan+and+Griffis&source=gbs_summary_r Click for digitized, limited preview copy of this book]
* _________. (1887). "
Matthew Calbraith Perry: A Typical American Naval Officer." Boston: Cupples & Hurd. [reprinted by Reprint Services Corp., London, 1992. 10-ISBN 0-781-22960-X; 13-ISBN 978-0-781-22960-9 (cloth)] [reprinted by Kessinger Books, Whitefish, Montana, 2007. 10-ISBN 0-548-30525-0; 13-ISBN 978-0-548-30525-6 (paper)] [http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=DS7k5N05dDwC&dq=Matthew+Calbraith+Perry++Griffis++&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=daFjFBGOqY&sig=Zoz4du5iPts0J4I7JcZT4WxzRfw#PPR1,M1 ...Click for digitized, full-text copy of this book.]
* __________. (1900). "Verbeck of Japan: A Citizen of No Country; a Life Story of Foundation Work Inaugurated by Guido Fridolin Verbeck." Chicago, Fleming H. Revell Co. [reprinted by Oliphant, Anderson and Ferrier, London, 1901. [http://books.google.com/books?id=0NSnp5qgv4kC&vq=Verbeck+of+Japan&source=gbs_summary_s&cad=0 .... Click for digitized, full-text copy of this book.] ]
* [http://www.ccel.org/php/disp.php3?a=schaff&b=encyc05&p=78 William Elliot Griffis] - Entry from the Schaff-Herzog|Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge
* [http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/libs/scua/griffis/griff.shtml The William Elliot Griffis Collection] - Collection of print, manuscript, photographic and ephemeral materials relating to early Japan-U.S. relations
* [http://www.rutgersalumni.org/happenings.php?id=7 Putting Rutgers’ Name in Print] - Article on America's oldest student newspaper founded by W. E. Griffis at Rutgers University
* [http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/moa/sgml/moa-idx?type=boolean&coll=serial&rgn1=authorind&layer=second&q1=Griffis%2C%20W.%20E.%2C%20Rev.&q1=Griffis%2C%20William%20E.&q1=Griffis%2C%20William%20E.%2C%20Rev.%2C%20D.D.%2C%20Chairman&q1=Griffis%2C%20William%20Eliot&q1=Griffis%2C%20William%20Elliot&q1=Griffis%2C%20William%20Elliott&searchSummary=18%20matching%20%20journal%20articles Making of America] - Collection of articles written by William Elliot Griffis located at Cornell University Library
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