Education -- Japan -- History
Japan -- Civilization -- Western Influences
Japan -- History -- Meiji Period, 1868-1912.
Japanese students -- New Jersey -- History
New Brunswick (NJ) -- History
The Wiliam Eliot Griffis Collection, a unique scholarly resource at Rutgers documents the history of first Japanese students who came to the United States to study at the time of Meiji Restauration (1868). The collection includes photos, manuscripts, and other items documenting the students, including Taro Kusakabe, 1845-1870 (above) the first Japanese to graduate from an American college. Fernanda Perrone (Tel:848-932-6154. Email: email@example.com) is the curator of the Griffis Collection.
Kusakabe attended Rutgers College, 1867-1870 and earned an A.B. in mathematics. He is the first Japanese to become Phi Beta Kappa, but died of tuberculosis a few weeks before commencement. Kusakabe is buried in the Willow Grove Cemetery, New Brunswick.
Photographs of Griffis and other Japanese students are represented in New Jersey Digital Highway. Do a search for "Griffis" on the main portal.
Ardath W. Burks Papers, 1928-1996, 1970-1990. Burks was a Rutgers administrator and faculty of Asian Studies. He wrote extensively on Japanese students at Rutgers and promoted positive relationship between Japan and the United States.
The Gardner Sage Library of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary archives includes a collection of Japanese students. Many Japanese students came to study at the Seminary and at Rutgers Preparatory School (Rutgers Grammar School) which was then affiliated with Rutgers College.
New Brunswick Daily Times, 1861-1891. Microform Collection, Alexander Library. Newspaper Collection, SC/UA.
Useful resource to find New Jersey newspapers: Directory of New Jersey Newspapers, 1765-1970. Newspaper titles and their date coverage are organized by names of cities.