There is no doubt that this sixth volume in the Japan Society’s highly regarded
Britain and Japan series contains many ‘long overdue’ essays of leading personalities with links to Britain and Japan that will be welcomed by the researcher and general reader alike – from the opening essay on Churchill and Japan by Eiji Seki, to the concluding account by Rikki Kersten of the distinguished intellectual liberal Maruyama Masao’s close relationship with Richard Storry and Oxford in particular and his interests in Britain in general. Containing a total of thirty-three entries, thoughtfully and painstakingly compiled and edited by Hugh Cortazzi, there may well be a case for arguing that the best has been kept until last. Indeed, by way of an ‘Envoi’ the book concludes with an account of the Beatles visit to Tokyo in 1965, including a facsimile report for H.M. Government by the British Embassy’s then first secretary, Dudley Cheke. Also of special interest are Hugh Cortazzi’s portraits of Morita Akio and Honda Shoichiro , as well as John Hatcher’s fascinating record of Ian Fleming’s 1959 five-week visit to Japan on behalf of the Sunday Times. The volume is divided up thematically and includes an Index of Biographical Portraits published to date by the Japan Society, and by way of appendix, a highly significant report by Robin Mountfield on the Nissan Negotiations of 1980-84, which resulted in the biggest foreign investment in car manufacturing in Britain.
Hugh Cortazzi was British Ambassador to Japan 1980-84 and Chairman of the Japan Society 1984-94. He has written extensively on Japan. His many books include
Isle of Gold: Antique Maps of Japan,
The Japanese Achievement and his memoir
Japan and Back and Places Elsewhere. This is the third volume of
Britain and Japan: Biographical Portraits he has edited for the Japan Society, together with
British Envoys in Japan, 1859-1972. Most recently, he published his translation of Crown Prince Naruhito’s account of his years in Oxford (
The Thames and I, Global Oriental, 2006). He remains highly active in the field of Anglo-Japanese relations and continues with his monthly column for the
Japan Times, as well as being a regular reviewer.
Table of contents
Introduction; Alphabetical List of Contributors; Index of Biographical Portraits in Japan Society Publications; PART I: POLITICIANS; 1 Winston Churchill (1874-1965) and Japan; 2 Prime Minister Yoshida in London 1954: The First Visit to Britain by a Japanese Prime Minister; 3 Edward Heath (1916-2005) and Japan: The First Visit of a British Prime Minister to Japan in 1972; 4 Nitobe Inazo in London; 5 Inagaki Manjiro (1861-1908): A Diplomat who Recognized the Importance of the Asia-Pacific Region to Japan; PART II: ROYAL MATTERS; 6 The Showa Emperor’s State Visit to Britain in 1971; 7 A Royal Alliance: Court Diplomacy and Anglo-Japanese Relations 1900-41; 8 Japanese Tattooists and the British Royal Family during the Meiji Period; PART III: BUSINESS FIGURES (The Japanese car industry and Britain) 9 Toyota and Britain, Britain is one of the countries with which Toyota is most closely associated; 10 Nissan and the British Motor Vehicle Industry (prior to the Nissan investment in the UK in 1984); 11 Nissan Investment in Britain: History of a Negotiation 1980-84; 12 Honda Soichiro (1906-1991) and Honda Motors in Britain; (Other Business leaders) 13 Morita Akio, Sony and Britain; 14 Sir Peter Parker (1924-2002) and Japan; 15 Lord (Eric) Roll of Ipsden (1907-2005), S.G. Warburg and Shirasu Jiro; 16 Chino Yoshitoki and the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation; 17 Frank Guyver Britton (1879-1934), Engineer and Earthquake Hero; 18 Ernest Comfort: The Other British Aviation Mission and Mitsubishi 1921-24; 19 Uyeno Yutaka (born 1915); PART IV: LITERARY FIGURES; 20 Yoshida Ken’ichi (1912-77), Anglophile Novelist, Essayist, Literary Critic, Translator and Man of letters; 21 Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), Novelist, Playwright, Essayist and Traveller; 22 Ian Fleming (1908-64), Novelist and Journalist; 23 Frank Tuohy (1925-99): The Best is Silence; 24 Angela Carter (1940-92) and Japan: Disorientations; PART V: ART COLLECTORS, AN ARCHAEOLOGIST AND AN ARTIST; 25 Charles Holme (1848-1923), Founder of The Studio and Connoisseur of Japanese Art; 26 Augustus Wollaston Franks (1826-97) and James Lord Bowes (1834-1899): Collecting Japan in Victorian England; 27 William Gowland (1842-1922), Pioneer of Japanese Archaeology; 28 Elizabeth Keith (1887-1956): A Marriage of British Art and Japanese Craftsmanship; PART VI: A JOURNALIST, A TEACHER AND THREE SCHOLARS; 29 Hugh Fulton Byas (1875-1945): ‘The fairest and most temperate of foreign writers on Japan’s political development’ between the wars; 30 Edward Gauntlett (1868-1956), English Teacher, Explorer and Missionary; 31 Joseph Henry Longford (1849-1925), Consul and Scholar; 32 Kathleen Mary Drew Baker, British botanist whose studies helped to save the Japanese nori industry; 33 Maruyama Masao and Britain: an intellectual in search of liberal democracy; ENVOI: 34 The Beatles in Japan 1966; APPENDIX: Course of the Nissan Negotiation 1980-84; Notes; Index