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William Elliot Griffis, Class of 1869

Ardath W. Burks


William Elliot Griffis (1843-1928) participated in the "modernization" of Japan, along with other "yatoi" or foreign workers in Japan in the late ninetheeth century. He became most famous in his role as our first "Old Japan Hand."   He was considered during his lifetime as "Interpreter of a Nation."  He wrote and lecture on Japan profusely for fifty-two years after staying in Japan for four years from 1870 to 1874. His voluminous papers are in Rutgers' Special Collections.

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