Inazo Nitobe


Nitobe Inazō (新渡戸 稲造 Nitobe Inazō) (September 1, 1862 – October 15, 1933) was a Christian, agricultural economist, author, educator, diplomat, and politician during the Meiji and Taishō periods in Japan. Born the son of a samurai of the Morioka Clan in Iwate, he converted to Christianity while a student at the Sapporo Agricultural College in 1881. In 1884, he went to study in the United States, where he became a Quaker. After earning his doctorate in agricultural economics in Germany, he married Mary Patterson Elkinton in Philadelphia and returned to Japan in 1891 to assume an assistant professorship at the Sapporo Agricultural College. Nitobe served as a professor of law at Kyoto Imperial University and Tokyo Imperial University, Headmaster of the First Higher School (then the preparatory division for the Tokyo Imperial University), and the first president of Tokyo Women's Christian University. He was an Under-Secretary General of the League of Nations from 1919 to 1926, and later chairman of the Japan Council of the Institute of Pacific Relations. Nitobe was a prolific writer and exerted a powerful influence on Japanese intellectuals and students. He was critical of the increasing militarism in Japan during the early 1930s. He wrote many books in English, and is most famous in the West for his work Bushido: The Soul of Japan.