Nitobé, Inazo, 1862-1933

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Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933) was a Japanese Quaker diplomat, agriculturist, and educator who sought to act as an emissary of understanding between Japan and Western nations. He was born in Morioka, Japan, in the waning days of feudal Japan and became a Christian during his studies in Sapporo. He was further educated at Tokyo University and in 1884 became one of the first Japanese students to study in the United States. He joined the Society of Friends in 1886, and in 1891, he married Mary Patterson Elkinton, under the care of Philadelphia Monthly Meeting (Orthodox). Mary P. Elkinton (1857-1938) was a Philadelphia Friends and the daughter of Joseph S. and Malinda (Patterson) Elkinton; the Elkinton family was prominently involved in Quaker social causes. After the W.W.I, Nitobe became Under Secretary-General to the League of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, a post he held until 1926. He later returned to Japan where he held government positions and served as Chairman of the Institute of Pacific Relations. At his death, a state funeral was held in Japan attended by 3,000 people. and in 1984, his portrait was selected for the 5,000 Japanese yen note.

From the description of Papers, 1890-1991. (Swarthmore College). WorldCat record id: 48858547

Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Cope, Thomas P. (Thomas Pym), 1768-1854. person
associatedWith Elkinton family. family
associatedWith Hirakawa, Seiju, b. 1874. person
associatedWith Institute of Pacific Relations. corporateBody
associatedWith League of Nations. corporateBody
associatedWith Nitobé, Mary Patterson Elkinton, 1857-1938. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Quakers--Social life and customs
International relations and culture
International relations social aspects
Society of Friends
International relations


Birth 1862-09-01

Death 1933





Ark ID: w62c1n2c

SNAC ID: 67359206