Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Japan’

[Note: since this will be my last post on The Consecrated Eminence, I feel no need to apologize for opening with such a horrible pun.]

The Howard B. Hamilton Japanese Theater Papers will be an extraordinary resource for the study of both Japanese culture and theater performance. It documents the frankly amazing avocational activity of an American medical researcher in post-World War II Japan who, over the course of 30 years, went on to become one of the leading performers on the noh stage – quite unusual for any non-Japanese.

hh

Howard B. Hamilton, MD (1918-2007)

Hamilton’s papers, consisting chiefly of photographic images, programs, albums, film, video, and printed matter, were acquired as a gift five years ago and are now being arranged, described and prepared for research use. Work on the collection has been challenging and time-consuming, since none of us here professes any expert knowledge in Japanese noh theater. (Archival processing always has an educational element.)

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Image

Otis Cary, 1989. Source: Otis Cary and His Broad Vision, 1921-2006

During World War II, whenever fellow Americans asked Otis Cary (AC 1943) where he came from, he felt pained to have to answer “Massachusetts.”  It was a half-truth.  Though the product of Deerfield Academy and Amherst College (the latter having also educated his father and grandfather before him), Otis Cary was born and raised in Japan.  He always considered it his home.  His family’s roots there, in fact, reach back to his grandfather Otis Cary (AC 1872), who arrived as a Christian missionary in 1878, a mere 24 years after the opening of that long-secluded country to foreigners.  The younger Cary thus developed absolute fluency in Japanese — not just linguistic, but cultural.  When he died in 2006, having served as a professor and Director of Amherst House at Doshisha University for 45 years (Amherst’s sister institution in Kyoto), he was widely considered one of the foremost American authorities on Japanese culture.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Between July 19th and September 6th, 1936 an adventurous art collector named Lilla S. Perry traveled to Japan and kept a diary about her trip. At some later date she typed up portions of her diary and correspondence, entitled it “A Treasure Hunt in Japan, 1936” and included many photos and pamphlets. She may have intended to eventually publish her story, or perhaps only share it with family and friends, but the unpublished typescript is now in the collection here at Amherst College. It was donated to the college in 2002 by William Green¹, a fellow art collector who had been acquainted with Mrs. Perry’s son, E. Caswell Perry.

Lilla Perry was in her mid-50s at the time of her trip, lived in southern California and had become widowed a few years earlier. She was fascinated by the art form of Japanese woodblock prints known as ukiyo-e. Her son described her 1936 journey as a “print pilgrimage…visiting dealers and collectors and some museums, and finding many worthwhile prints, both old and new.”²

(more…)

Read Full Post »